Okinoumi Refuses To Be Lose, Will Face Undefeated Goeido Saturday
As outlined in last night’s preview of the day 6 matches, the schedule took both undefeated Sumotori into matches with opponents with the skill and strength to end their run. But the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan had other plans, both Goeido and Okinoumi emerged from today’s bouts undefeated.
In other news, Osunaarashi did not make it to his Makuuichi match today, an injury suffered on day 5 was enough to have him withdraw, at least for now, from the September tournament. Tachiai wishes him a speedy recovery. As he stated in an interview last night – if he does not try to plow through the tournament, it could be next year before he rejoins Makuuchi, and that would be a devastating blow to his promising career.
Nishikigi defeats Kagayaki – About time ‘kigi got back to winning. Nice Kotenage throw to put Kagayaki out of the ring.
Endo defeats Takekaze – I love me some Takekaze, but it is magical to see Endo back to strength and confidence. This bout was quick, with Endo putting some kind of Superman push-down / tsukiotoshi on Takekaze just a few seconds into the match.
Shohozan defeats Amakaze – Dear Amakaze is probably one of the most gracious men in all of Sumo. Today’s match with Shohozan showed that he loves Sumo, but never takes himself too seriously, and seems to truly enjoy himself each and ever bout. This match should have been over a couple of times, but Amakaze show amazing “think on your feet” reflexes and tactics, escaping a finishing move the first time by a pirouette that could never be expected by a man his size. Shohozan was finally able to chase him around and get him off balance, and down – thought Amakaze took the wrong spot on the dohyo at the end of the match to bow. Ah well! I am sure the “no fun” crowd at the Sumo Association will talk to him about being more stoic.
Chiyoshoma defeats Ikioi – A resurgent Ikioi was stopped, and possibly injured today. As he has been nursing more than a couple mechanical problems. Ikioi tried a throw against Chiyoshoma, who countered with an amazingly athletic move and put Ikioi on the clay. Watch closely at the end of the match – Chiyoshoma has some real skill.
Daishomaru defeats Chiyootori – Daishomaru finally gets a win, I am happy to report.
Yoshikaze defeats Chiyonokuni – I like both these rikishi, but Yoshikaze made quick work of Chiyonokuni. I worry that Yoshikaze took a hit or thumb to his left eye in that bout. After a terrible start, Yoshikaze is 3-3, so kachi-koshi is still within reason for him.
Kisenosato defeats Shodai – Shodai cannot catch a break, and Kisenosato has remembered his sumo skills. Today’s match Kisenosato wrapped up Shodai, then put his right hand outside magic to work on the mawashi. At that point, if your opponent is Kisenosato, you are probably headed out of the ring. He is 2 wins behind the leaders now, but the leaders showed no sign of giving ground today. His Yokozuna hopes for September are well and truly behind him now.
Okinoumi defeats Kotoshogiku – Kotoshogiku opened strong, and stayed heavy. Like some maniacal human bulldozer he relentless grabbed hold of Okinoumi and began to push him around the ring. In a display of skill and acumen I have never seen from Okinoumi before, he stayed calm, and steered himself round and round the ring, wearing the Ozeki down. With a quick weight shift, Okinoumi had Kotoshogiku off balance and threw him to the clay. A great match, and Okinoumi looked every bit a champion in that bout. He has now defeated both Yokozuna, and 3 Ozeki. Truly breath taking performance from a rank and file Maegashira.
Goeido defeats Takayasu – I am a big fan of Takayasu. In this match he was hell bent to get Goeido down, but the Ozeki showed a lot of patience. and waited for his moment to strike. It seldom goes well when a strength rikishi like Takayasu engages in a slapping match, as it’s far to easy to get off balance. The win came when Goeido wrapped up Takayasu at the edge, and gently “escorted” him over the bales. Goeido remains undefeated with Okinoumi. Saturday they face off, and only one will remain.
Terunofuji defeats Tochinoshin – The big Georgian tried once again to wear down his opponent, which he was doing, but lacked the power to finish Terunofuji. One can assume his knee injury is impacting the big man’s performance.
Harumafuji defeats Takanoiwa – Fairly standard beat-down by Harumafuji, but if you can see the replays – watch him grab for Takanoiwa after he is out and the match is over. Takanoiwa was in real danger of going head-first backwards off the dohyo, and it was clear Harumafuji was eager to prevent that. For those out there critical of Harumafuji’s rough and rowdy sumo style, I offer this as evidence of the “Yokozuna Attitude” that he has been displaying with great effect this basho.
Kakuryu defeats Kaisei – Points to Kaisei for trying to take this the endurance route, and play to his superior mass. But it looks like Kakuryu is back in Yokozuna form and waited for his opening, then moved swiftly to end the match. Textbook power sumo from two great practicians, a very satisfying conclusion to day 6