It’s all now down to Hakuho and Kakuryu. Kakuryu forced Terunofuji to the edge and try as he might just was not able to push him over for the yorikiri win. But he still managed a throw to stay in the lead and push the shin-ozeki two losses back. Terunofuji looked to have the early edge, with position in the ring and both arms wrapped around Kakuryu’s arms. But Kakuryu was able to use his lower position to maneuver Terunofuji to the edge. Terunofuji sure dug in his heels against the yorikiri, but Kakuryu finally managed a throw.
Hakuho quickly dispatched the hapless Kotoshogiku. Hakuho faces Goeido, who has given him problems lately with four losses over the last seven tournaments, including one in May. Has Goeido found an edge? Giku faces Kaisei with Terunofuji and Ichinojo waiting in the wings, and any loss moving forward sends him down to sekiwake. It’s been a year since he’s managed 10 wins, so if he goes down, it is highly unlikely that he’ll bounce back up. He’s still getting kachi koshi in sanyaku so it’s possible he can hang around Sekiwake for a while.
Tochiozan fell earlier to Okinoumi. This may be the moment his yusho hopes were dashed. All the hard work beating two yokozuna and two ozeki may be for naught as he falls to a lowly maegashira. The Goeido loss may have put it out of reach but surely today’s match put a dagger in those hopes. He should still finish strongly these last three days if he hopes to follow Terunofuji for ozeki promotion with 33 wins over 3 tournaments. Putting up 12 here is a strong move.
Seiro tried a henka on Endo but Endo adjusted and won a quick yorikiri bout to move to 9-3. This moves Endo into a tie with Terunofuji, Tochiozan, Yoshikaze, and Kisenosato. He’ll face Yoshikaze tomorrow. One will stay on pace, the other will fall back. Yoshikaze picked up a default win versus Chiyotairyu who pulled out because of a foot injury. Chiyotairyu already has kachi koshi, so he will preserve his position – doing the smart thing to avoid further injury.
Oosunaarashi picked up his all-important eighth win against Kagamio who has been on cruise control since picking up his eighth win. Three losses in a row, he seems to be going through the motions to avoid injury and to avoid advancing too far. I’m not a big fan of this slacker sumo but it probably means Satoyama will get another win before going make koshi. Goeido picked up his kachi koshi with a slapdown of Takekaze. Kisenosato beat Myogiryu pretty easily. Myogiryu can be a really frustrating yusho spoiler…or he can do jack crap and get shoved out of the dohyo. The second version happened today.
This basho is starting to shape up to be a great yokozuna showdown! I just wish someone else would show up! I had my hopes pinned on Tochiozan, who faces Sadanoumi tomorrow. I hope that he’s not in cruise control mode now.