Ikioi (0-5) came close to pulling off the upset of his career against Hakuho. In a characteristically spirited fight he very nearly conquered the yokozuna, slapping the champ down by the shoulder. But, the gyoji was right calling Hakuho as victor. On review, the heel of Ikioi’s foot had touched the dirt on the wrong side of the straw bale while Hakuho was still in the air [blurry picture above]. He’s clearly much better than his winless record would attest…but he’ll get there.
Harumafuji’s near-henka over Tochiozan wasn’t a crowd pleasing way to win but it was effective. All of his bouts so far have been over very quickly. Though still tied with Hakuho and Okinoumi at 5-0, he has been most formidable to this point. Kakuryu (4-1) was able to hang on, quite literally, in a great bout against Terunofuji (2-3). Their bout was a very evenly matched contest. Both had hold of each other’s belts and a few times Terunofuji got Kakuryu off the ground but he would pick him up while in the center of the dohyo, too far from the edge of the ring to make that effective, wasting too much energy in this endurance test.
Takayasu got behind Ichinojo at the tachiai and from there was easily able to push him out. In another upset, though I’d called it yesterday, Tochinoshin (1-4) was able to use that size advantage and send Goeido (3-2) to the floor. Goeido never had much of a chance but put in a valiant effort trying to stay on his feet. Kotoshogiku (3-2) bounced back by bouncing Takarafuji off the dohyo.
Endo (2-3) got his first victory over Jokoryu and second win of the tournament. It was a wild match but Endo was able to get Jokoryu (3-2) turned around briefly and pushed him to the edge. Even going down, Jokoryu was still battling to grab Endo and pull him out and Endo’s momentum carried him half way back up the tunnel to the changing rooms – but Jokoryu had fallen to the ground first. For his efforts, he gets Hakuho tomorrow. He must step it up against these stronger opponents but even with 3 losses has a good chance of a winning record.
Oosunaarashi (3-2) seemed to climb a bit gingerly back onto the dohyo after his loss today, particularly the right leg. He also didn’t seem to have much leg drive during the bout to counter Tokushoryu (3-2). Tokushoryu was able to get a quick belt grip and use his leverage to force the Egyptian over the edge.