Kakuryu gave an amazing effort. It was certainly worth the top billing. After a straight forward tachiai, both wrestlers secured double-barrel grips. Hakuho had the first chance at a yorikiri but Kakuryu countered and slid the superzuna out to the straw bales. However, Hakuho was just biding his time and got the yorikiri force-out victory for his 35th Yusho.
In other news, Kotoshogiku henka’d his way to a sketchy kachi-koshi (after the last few days of lackluster, creampuff effort from his opponents). He can’t hang with the big boys so on this website, next tournament I will refer to him as sekiwake. It was Terunofuji’s first show at the rank and he picked up 11 wins! If Kotoshogiku needs to pick up 8 wins in this way, he’s not worthy of the rank. Goeido at least picked up a ninth win against Kisenosato, who finishes on 10-5.
Tochinoshin picked up his 8th win and will likely be komusubi next basho – but he needs to prove that he can win against higher ranked opponents, other than Harumafuji. His first week in the Fall tournament will be rough. He beat Kyokutenho who is likely going to retire. I’m still hoping he’ll compete next tournament because I think he turns 41 in September.
Tochiozan was awarded the Outstanding Performance special prize and Yoshikaze got the Fighting Spirit special prize. He finished with 12 wins, tied with Kakuryu for jun-yusho. The bout with Tochiozan left something to be desired, however. It didn’t seem like a straight up match and should have been redone because Yoshikaze clearly had a false start and Tochiozan just kinda had to go with it.
Osunaarashi (11-4) and Endo (10-5) had very strong tournaments and I’m very happy to see Amuru with 8 wins. Toyohibiki, Seiro, and Satoyama will fall back into Juryo and Hidenoumi may join them.
My battery is running low so I’ll publish now but update later.
4 thoughts on “Nagoya 2015, Day 15: Hakuho Yusho! (35th)”
Personally I’d like to see Ozeki maintain the standard that got them the rank in the first place – if they aren’t good enough to consistenly maintain 33 wins over three Basho then they should be considered for demotion. That would put paid to guys like Kotoshogiku and Goeido hanging on to the rank by the skin of their teeth.
I wouldn’t mind. Sadly, sumo’s popularity will stay low as shoddy, fishy matches – like Ichonojo v Kotoshogiku – make the sport look as fake as WWE or Mexican wrestling. The cynic in me thinks that if ozeki needed to maintain 33 wins over 3 basho, it would just mean more fishy Kotoshogiku bouts. I just can’t imagine that he’ll hang on to that rank for much longer.
At least if the other Ozeki were trying to maintain 33 over 3 they’d be less able to give their struggling colleague freebies without jeopardizing their own rank. I think Kotoshogiku won’t be stepping down from the Rank until there’s another Japanese guy to replace him – maybe Tochiozan – so that the Mongolians don’t end up overwhelming the upper ranks any more than they already do.
That’s true. I am hoping Tochiozan gets a good ozeki run. He needs to finish a bit stronger. Can’t lose to maegashira after beating both yokozuna and a couple ozeki.