San’yaku Ranks Take A Beating Out of the Gate
While Kisenosato’s loss on day one is the big news, there were other great matches today. In general it was a rough day for the top 4 ranks (Komusubi to Yokozuna), the strongest wrestlers in sumo.
Outcome for Sumo’s toughest rikishi: 4 wins, 6 losses.
Harumafuji defeats Kaisei
As predicted, this was more of “get off my lawn” exchange between the Horse and the Brazilian strong man. Not sure where Kaisei’s mojo went, but I am going to assume that if he drops some weight he would return to being a contender. He looked worn out and lacked the overwhelming intensity required to defeat Harumafuji.
Tochiozan defeats Kakuryu
Kakuryu also did not seem to have much in the way of energy and drive. He put forth a weak effort against Tochiozan, who pushed him out with little ceremony.
Yoshikaze defeats Terunofuji
The Berserker was looking ready and strong. He was actually hospitalized after the Nagoya tournament, but he came back and won against an Ozeki. He even did it via Yorikiri, where Yoshikaze would typically push opponents out of the ring with a flurry of strong blows.
Kotoshogiku defeats Shodai
As a Kadoban Twins member in good standing, Kotoshogiku really needs to win with authority this basho. He looked good against Shodai today. Hopefully this means he is ready to win. Shodai – this guy has a bright future if he does not fall into the trap of gaining so much weight his speed and skill no longer counts.
Takanoiwa defeats Takayasu
Takanoiwa – He tied for second place in Nagoya down at Maegashira 11 (easy schedule), and the ranking board put him on a very tough track for this tournament. Takayasu is a serious candidate for Ozeki sometime in 2017, so I was surprised when Takanoiwa took him apart. I am beginning to thing Takanoiwa may be one to watch.