Harumafuji and Hakuho are the last two with perfect records.
Harumafuji had his longest bout of the tournament so far and one of the more interesting bouts in the way he won. He waited patiently with a solid belt grip. Toyonoshima tried to use his legs but that opened him to danger as the yokozuna got the better of him by reaching down with the left arm and grabbing for Toyonoshima’s left leg. Off balance, the maegashira was forced backwards and off the dohyo, into the crowd. I don’t think I’d ever seen an example of komatasukui kimarite before.
What is it with Endo lately? His bouts have been all over the place. It certainly makes for exciting sumo. His bout today with Hakuho was another high-energy thriller. Hakuho seemed to want to end it quickly but Endo wouldn’t go down easily. At one point Endo had gotten behind Hakuho and was pushing him toward the edge but Hakuho avoided going out and chased Endo off the dohyo, like a bull agitated by Endo’s red mawashi. Hakuho fights Takayasu tomorrow. Endo faces Kakuryu who lost quickly to Tochiozan.
Ikioi, and the vestigial twin growing out of his shoulder, (0-6) fell to Kisenosato (5-1). Despite coming close to beating Hakuho yesterday, he’s been utterly incapable of beating top wrestlers. He’ll surely slide back a bit into the middle of the maegashira. Kisenosato, on the other hand, appeared to have little trouble holding his own. He was able to maneuver Ikioi to the edge of the ring, slip quickly to the side and propel Ikioi out the opposite way.
Goeido (3-3) was no match for Ichinojo (3-3) today. I called it again. The junior rikishi secured a belt grip with both arms while the ozeki’s much shorter arms couldn’t reach Ichinojo’s belt. Ichinojo then used his size and strength to maneuver Goeido back and over the edge. Kotoshogiku got a much needed win over Takayasu to improve to 4-2. He needs four more wins in the last 9 days to avoid demotion. Both wrestlers have yet to face the yokozuna or their ozeki counterparts so they really can’t give up too many losses. Goeido must score at least one win against an ozeki or yokozuna to avoid demotion.
For tomorrow, I’m keeping an eye on the Kakuryu/Endo battle and Aminishiki/Kaisei. Jokoryu will give Harumafuji a test while the twin 200kg sekiwake brothers, Aoiyama and Ichinojo will give Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato quite the test.