Day 1 and two big dawgs already down. Kakuryu pulled out of the tournament late due to injury and Ichinojo picked up the forfeit win. Kisenosato was overpowered by Tochi from Kochi. It was a good battle but Tochiozan had inside position and a lower center of balance. Once he got the ozeki to the edge, one last shove sent Kisenosato into the front row. The early loss does not bode well for a Japanese yusho.
With Kakuryu down, it looks like Harumafuji’s hungry again. After a powerful tachiai, he retreated, crouched, and engaged Tamawashi with full force, launching the Komusubi into the spectators. Hakuho followed up with a frenetic disposal of Myogiryu. These two have an interesting history. Myogiryu has gotten a gold star off the yokozuna but he’s also been on the receiving end of a ruthless knockout.
In other first day bouts, Goeido and Kotoshogiku earned decisive victories. Tochinoshin got a great win and Osunaarashi out-maneuvered a hard-charging Kyokutenho for a close victory. That was a good start for the Egyptian since he’s getting over that illness from last week. Hope
Unfortunately, Endo, Ikioi, and Gagamaru all started with losses. Endo charged strong but over committed and got spun around. Toyonoshima was then able to capitalize and push him off the dohyo. Hopefully they can get it going tomorrow.
The matchup I’m looking forward to tomorrow is Tochinoshin vs. Ichinojo. They’ve had some great, evenly contested, bouts, including that amazing uchimuso win for Tochinoshin in January. Ikioi will battle Osunaarashi tomorrow. Takayasu’s got an impressive 8 wins in 12 tries against Goeido so this may be Goeido’s first stumble as ozeki in front of his hometown crowd. It will be an important bout if he wants to have a strong tournament.
As always, thanks to Jason and Kintamayama for the videos!