Hatsubasho 2015: Day 9

Goeido's 5th loss
Goeido’s 5th loss

Harumafuji is Hakuho’s only remaining challenger at this point.

Goeido is just getting abused at this level. He met Harumafuji head-on with a strong tachiai, which was probably a mistake. Harumafuji lowered his head and bulled the ozeki clean off the dohyo. He barely secured a winning record in his first tournament after promotion and then in November only mustered 5 wins. This is the same Goeido that won double digit matches three times in the 6 prior tournaments but now he’s losing double-digit matches every other basho. The fact that he was only barely treading water at 8-7 during the other three tournaments should have been a warning of his inconsistency. Maybe his natural level is in the lower sanyaku. Tomorrow’s bout with Aminishiki becomes crucial.

Hakuho’s biggest challenge of the tournament so far came on day 9 in the form of Ichinojo. After an early stumble and nearly a hatakikomi loss, Ichinojo regained his balance and was able to get a good belt grip. But Hakuho had physics on his side. Once he got Ichinojo’s mass going in the direction he wanted, Newton’s 1st Law of Motion took care of the rest and Ichinojo went over the side.

Kakuryu is not having a great tournament. Aminishiki toppled the yokozuna but couldn’t control his own momentum. After monoii and slow-motion replay review, it was decided they both landed out simultaneously and would fight again. Kakuryu handled Aminishiki well in the rematch but fighting twice may leave both tired for tomorrow’s bouts.

In today’s battle of the senior ozeki, Kotoshogiku’s jack-rabbit leg thrusts were too much for Kisenosato as Kisenosato’s knee buckled. Kisenosato’s disappointment was apparent. I think he had high hopes of staying in the running for this yusho. There was concern that he was injured after the bout as he lay on his side for several seconds but he walked back onto the dohyo under his own power. Hopefully he’ll get rest and come back ready for Endo (3-6) tomorrow.

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