The Undefeated Shall Be Tested
We enter day 6 with two rikishi still undefeated (5-0): Goeido & Okinoumi Following on their heels are 7 rikishi with only one loss (4-1): Harumafuji, Kotoshogiku, Takayasu, Ikioi, Kotoyuki, Endo and Kyokushuho
When the scheduling masters of the Sumo Kyokai looked upon this, they must have thought that heading into the middle weekend of a fairly exciting tournament, it was time to see if the undefeated could be challenged, this brings us to the schedule for day 6. I suspect this may be quite a bit more exciting than either of the weekend days, but time shall tell.
Late news – it seems that Osunaarashi was injured in today’s bout. It’s not sure if he’s going to be able to make day 6: He apparently cannot crouch at all, “I heard a ‘crack’ in my hip joint after beating Sadanofuji. I’m not going to hospital. I don’t have a choice but to be unreasonable..”
Now confirmed in the Japanese press: Osunaarashi Out
Notable Matches, Day 6
Osunaarashi v Kyokushuho – With Kyokushuho on a winning streak, this may be a tough trip to Makuuchi for Osunaarashi. But it will be welcome for the US folks to get to see him on the “highlights only” reel.
Endo v Takekaze – The veteran will possibly school Endo, who is on a bit of a hot streak for the past few days. Endo is in great form, but I would put the advantage on Takekaze for this bout.
Shohozan v Amakaze – After being Okinoumi chew-toy on day 5, Shohozan takes on the lower ranked Amakaze. Experience advantages to Shohozan, size to Amakaze. If Shohozan is not completely demoralized by the Torinaoshi, he should defeats Amakaze with little ceremony.
Chiyoshoma v Ikioi – Ikioi is in much better form this tournament, I really like how he is moving for most of his bouts. He should be able to handle Chiyoshoma.
Chiyonokuni v Yoshikaze – Two speed sumo practitioners will enter the dohyo, while I would expect Yoshikaze to win this one, Chiyonokuni thinks on his feet and improvises well. Advantage Yoshikaze – but this may be one to watch. The Berserker is eager to get back above .500, after a demoralizing start to this basho.
Kisenosato v Shodai – Nothing says softball like putting Shodai up against the Great Pumpkin. Shodai has really struggled this tournament, and this is going to be an easy win for Kisenosato, who still seems off his normal sumo.
Okinoumi v Kotoshogiku – While not the musubi no ichiban (結びの一番) – the final match of the day, it will for many fans hold far more excitement than day 6’s Yokozuna match. Undefeated Okinoumi vs the master of the Hug & Chug. Kadoban Twin Kotoshogiku is storming the gates of redemption, and shall not be denied. Against him is Okinoumi possessed with an undefeatable spirit. I can’t wait to see this one.
Goeido v Takayasu – If you wanted to possibly top the Okinoumi v Kotoshogiku match, this could do it. Takayasu has his rhythm running, and is thinking fast and moving strong in the last 3 bouts. Against him is a tough, strong Ozeki who has defeated all opponents to this day. Can Takayasu once again play giant killer? Is this his first audition for a future Ozeki slot?
Tochinoshin v Terunofuji – Tochinoshin is looking really off stride, this may not be much of a match against a fairly sharp Terunofuji. Tochinoshin seemed to have found new vigor on day 5, maybe he can translate that into a win on day 6.
Harumafuji v Takanoiwa – Easy call, Takanoiwa lands in the gift shop to the surprise of the spectators.
Kakuryu v Kaisei – The Brazilian is not really connecting, in spite of some great action on day 5. With any luck he will add some maneuver warfare to his tactic of being large and difficult to move. Kakuryu is back in focus now, and is dispatching everyone after a very rocky start to this basho.