Hatsubasho 2015: Day 13 – Hakuho triumphant!


Hakuho wins #33

The Empire is victorious. Hakuho has won his 33rd Emperor’s cup. He is the greatest sumo wrestler ever.

Harumafuji’s loss to Kakuryu virtually sealed the deal in the previous bout. It was a great fight with Harumafuji seeming to have the upper hand. He came out with an aggressive attack on Kakuryu, pushing his fellow yokozuna to the straw bales several times. However, Kakuryu was able to twist the pair and Harumafuji lost his balance, putting his hand on the dohyo to brace himself – thus losing by shitatenage.

With the cup (and history) on the line, Hakuho gave it his all. He met Kisenosato with a desparate, hungry tachiai, driving both out. A last second twist by Kisenosato brought Hakuho down along side and put the title into question as it was unclear who touched first. By video replay it does appear Kisenosato’s arm touched before Hakuho but it was very close. Kakuryu won a bout earlier this tournament by deftly pulling his arm back winning the bout rather than instinctively breaking his fall. But after a monoii, the judges decided there would be a rematch. This time, Hak left no doubt. Hakuho blasted through Kisenosato and dropped him off the edge of the dohyo as he remained alone in the ring, champion.

I’m a capitalist so I like competition. However, Hakuho’s dominance is remarkable and I’m pulling for him to make it a perfect 15-0 zensho yusho. He is surely bringing more attention to the sport than it would have had otherwise. Since the fixing scandal in 2011, sumo has had some dark days but his run is historic. How far will he go? Congratulations, Hakuho.

As for the other ozeki, Kotoshogiku, handed Aminishiki his eighth loss. Goeido picked up a timely victory against Endo…who again found himself being chased back into the tunnel. G faces Aoiyama who’s already makekoshi after seeming listless in his loss to Toyonoshima. Despite giving up 40kg to the Bulgarian, Toyonoshima was able to drive straight through Aoiyama and picked up the oshidashi win.

In a lengthy belt battle, I don’t understand why Sokokurai did not drive Oosunaarashi backward. Perhaps he was looking for a throw victory? Or maybe my concerns over the Egyptian’s knees are overdone? Regardless, Oosunaarashi drove Sokokurai out of the ring for his 7th win of the basho. He has two chances to pick up a winning record.

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