Nagoya 2015, Day 13: Hakuho Leads Alone (updated)

The Leaders:

Goeido was obliterated by Hakuho. Hakuho basically drove through him at the tachiai, leaving Goeido flailing around, trying to get a hold of anything. Three seconds later, he’d been dropped off the cliff. Kakuryu was not quite so aggressive with Kisenosato. In fact, Kisenosato used his size to gently walk the yokozuna back off the dohyo. It was so quick that when Kakuryu made a slight hobble, it made me wonder if he’s got an ankle issue from yesterday’s hard-fought win over Terunofuji. I tried to find a sign from the earlier match but didn’t see anything. Kisenosato does have a distinct edge in their rivalry, winning the last three straight and four of six since the Mongolian became yokozuna. If there’s any reason why Kisenosato should be upset that he’s not Yokozuna, it should be that he’s so dominant against Kakuryu. He is just far too inconsistent early in tournaments. The last time he started 5-0 was May of 2013. That tournament, his first loss was Day 14 – to Hakuho.

The Rest:

Kagamio picked up his first win since Monday. Unfortunately for Satoyama, that means make koshi and he’s going back to Juryo – where he’ll be joined by Takanoiwa. Interesting fact, Kagamio won the Juryo yusho last tournament. Other than the past three days, he’s been doing pretty well in makuuchi, too. Needless to say, Satoyama’s opponent today was formidable as you could tell by the way he was whipped around by his neck.

In the amusing bout of the day, Sadanofuji and Kotoyuki had quite the slapfest. Kotoyuki had Sadanofuji on the ropes but Sadanofuji was able to dodge to the side and push Kotoyuki off the dohyo. That meant Kotoyuki ended up in the lap of the poor sod in the second row. Oosunaarashi had a great back-and-forth with Tokitenku but eventually prevailed to improve to 9-4. Endo is the first person I’ve seen to lose by hatakikomi and land flat on his back – rather than a belly flop. He falls to 9-4 but is still having a great tournament while Yoshikaze improves to 10-3. Special prize? With newbie Seiro tomorrow, he could finish with a great record.

Kyokutenho has gone off a cliff this tournament, and he gets shoved off one today by Gagamaru. Three straight losses for the 40 year old, his three wins coming from guys ranked M10 and below. It’s a given he’ll be in Juryo next basho but I’m hopeful he can sustain a winning record in there. He had 10 wins as recently as November. His foot is taped so maybe he needs it to heal. If his foot is injured, then I think it’s more likely he’ll retire. Okinoumi secured great ring position against Amuru and never yielded. As Amuru tried to maneuver, he fell victim to an Okinoumi throw.

Aminishiki went for the hatakikomi but Kitataiki maintained his balance and bulled straight through it – and straight through Aminishiki. Ikioi needs a shrink. When he gets this highly ranked, he’s just out of it. He loses again to Toyohibiki. Tochinoshin spun Takayasu and sent him into makekoshi-land. Tochinoshin improves to 6-7 with Gagamaru tomorrow. Tochiozan seems pissed he’s not in “The Leaders” anymore. He sent Sadanoumi three rows deep.

Ichinojo has had very little skill to demonstrate this basho. He’s got the size to beat the smaller guys but when he faces someone his size, he’s done. Terunofuji threw him hand stayed 2 off pace. Kaisei is still incapable of beating Kotoshogiku, he rolled over and Giku lives to fight another day. He faces Ichinojo who’ll undoubtedly roll over tomorrow.

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