Amuru has been eating his Wheaties. At the end of the first week he’s tied for the lead at 6-1, two wins away from getting his first kachi-koshi in the upper makuuchi division. In his two previous basho in makuuchi, he just seemed to be lost and the other wrestlers were taking advantage of his lack of size. He’s usually giving up 20 kg at least. He’s smaller than Harumafuji by 10 kilos. So, today he wasn’t able to get Takanoiwa moving backward but he didn’t need to. He just grabbed his neck and let him fall forward.
Jokoryu’s unable to get purchase with his right knee and was duly shown out of the dohyo by the previously winless, JURYO ranked Tenkaiho. It will be a struggle for him to stay in makuuchi. He and Endo need to call it a tournament, get the treatment they need, and come back when they’re healthy.
Amuru dropped to Jonidan after missing 6 tournaments and has come all the way up into Makuuchi. And we all know Tochinoshin dropped to makushita with his injury. Not only has he come back, he OWNS Ichinojo. He got an impressive yorikiri win over the Mongolian today and has won 5 of their 6 meetings, including the playoff win in Juryo to secure the yusho. While Ichinojo was steamrolling the makuuchi in his first tournament, Tochinoshin must have been watching from juryo and thinking, “Dude, I’ve already beat this guy twice! What’s the matter with y’all?”
Fujiazuma and Arawashi are still winless. Arawashi gave Endo his first victory. Meanwhile, 40 year old Kyokutenho is one win off pace, getting his 5th win in a row after he bulled through Toyohibiki. His stablemate and fellow Mongolian Kyokushuho is tied for the lead along with the afore mentioned Amuru, rank-and-filers Kaisei, Okinoumi, Takayasu and the big guns, Hakuho, Harumafuji, and Terunofuji.
Ozeki Kisenosato stayed one loss off of the pace with a hard fought, rough win over Oosunaarashi. But the Ozeki B-team dropped further off pace as Goeido lost to Tochiozan and Kotoshogiku had nothing against Terunofuji. Goeido stayed way to high on the tachiai. He gives up 6 cm to Tochiozan but was apparently trying to go over top to get a hold of his belt? Silly. Tochiozan used the leverage to get Goeido going backwards, out of the ring, and unceremoniously dropped on his butt onto the floor.
Week Two will probably narrow the competition down to just the big boys but it’s good to see the rank-and-filers hanging in there. It should make for a more interesting week 2 than what we’ve seen in the past few tournaments with everyone chasing Hakuho.
Hakuho might get an easy win tomorrow off Oosunaarashi because he seemed to be hurt after tumbling out under Kisenosato. Meanwhile, Harumafuji will have a challenge against Ichinojo. Kyokushuho faces off against Amuru so we’re guaranteed to have at least one 7-1 Maegashira, even if everyone else loses.