Ura and Okinoumi Fight Twice, Nothing is Stopping Goeido & Okinoumi
Wild day of sumo at the Kokugikan while the US was asleep, and Tachiai brings you the highlights to start your day. As yesterday was “Throwing for Kensho”, today would be “Mawashi appreciation day”, everyone was on the belt and power sumo was on full display. It was a mighty show: shimpan parades, monoii galore, re-fights, it was a madhouse!
Daieisho defeats Ura – Good match, typical Ura with lots of action, but both rikishi hit the dohyo more or less the same time, even the Shimpan could not decide, so they made them go again. This time it was very straight-forward, with Daieisho quickly pushing Ura out.
Endo defeats Kotoyuki – Yes sumo fons, the good Endo is in the house. He takes down previously undefeated Kotoyuki. About half way through the bout, Endo latched his right hand on Kotoyuki’s mawashi, and he used his hand hold to win via Yokikiri.
Ikioi defeats Aoiyama – It was not a strong fight, Ikioi went for Aoiyama’s mawashi a few seconds in, and that somehow unbalanced Aoiyama, who collapsed.
Yoshikaze defeats Mitakeumi – Praise to the great and blessed sumo cat of the Kokugikan, Yoshikaze was starting to really worry me. This was a quick bout, with Yoshikaze simply overpowering Mitakeumi early and driving him backwards across the tarawa.
Okinoumi defeats Shohozan – Nothing is stopping Okinoumi, the man is driven by some Yōkai, or he really is a robot being operated by a hospitalized Hakuho. It was a close call, which saw another monoii, so – yet another rematch! Second time it was clearly Okinoumi’s win.
Takayasu defeats Kaisei – Good show of mawashi / strength sumo, with Takayasu having a clear advantage. Kaisei seems to be relying too much on being large and heavy to win. That works to a point until you meet a rikishi like Takayasu, who has strength and patience. Takayasu wore him down and disposed of him. Takayasu looking very good this basho.
Kotoshogiku defeats Tochiozan – When Kotoshogiku is healthy, he is the absolute master of the hug-n-chug style of sumo, and he quickly sent Tochiozan out. Now he only needs 4 more wins to clear his Kadoban status.
Goeido defeats Takarafuji – One of the better bouts today, with some great strength sumo on display once again. Takarafuji was strong, but Goeido will not be defeated any time soon. Three wins now for him to clear kadoban. My earlier prediction that at least one of the kadoban twins was probably going to be demoted is clearly in peril.
Kisenosato defeats Takanoiwa – The Great Pumpkin’s drive to remain in the hunt for a tournament win is all but impossible given Goeido’s dominance, but Kisenosato was in form and won against Takanoiwa easily today.
Kakuryu defeats Tochinoshin – Maybe not defeats, more like he wore Tochinoshin down and threw him to the clay. Great great great power sumo match here. So nice to see Tochinoshin in form today, as he had been trying to keep stress off that right knee. His bout with Kakuryu raged back and forth, with both sekitori backed to the bales multiple times, but somehow pushing back.
Harumafuji defeats Shodai – Shodai put up a very good fight against the Nagoya tournament champion, but there was no way he could take out Harumafujo.
Osunaarashi defeats Sadanofuji – we get to see Osunaarashi fight in Makuuchi tomorrow! This will be wonderful.
Exit note / comment: Is the summer Jungyo so long and so involved that these sumotori come back rusty, distracted or at less than full power? Most of them seemed to have required a few days to get back into their good fighting habits. It would almost seem that there is a clear penalty for joining the tour rather than training.
The tours are very important to maintaining or increasing the popularity of sumo in Japan, but it has never been more clear that the frenzied pace of the sumo calendar can take it’s toll on the sport.