Day 9 Preview

Goeido’s match against Aoiyama and Okinoumi vs Kaisei are very similar to me. Aoiyama and Kaisei are capable spoilers and both Goeido and Okinoumi are usually very inconsistent yet suddenly strong. There has, however, been a very distinct difference. Goeido’s form has been exceptional. From his squat posture able to weather attacks from weaker opponents and maintain pressure until he finishes them off – 5 yorikiri wins and a yoritaoshi win in 8 bouts. With Aoiyama, I expect the same. Aoiyama’s man boobs flapping as he slaps but Goeido steadily working him to the edge and out of the dohyo.

Okinoumi, though, has been less single-minded and more flexible. He’s surely going to win a technique prize with 6 different kimarite in his seven wins. The hardest part of his schedule over, he needs to hold steady and be patient. Goeido, on the other hand will be steadily challenged over the next week by stronger sanyaku opponents with more tricks up their sleeves…except for Giku, the 1-trick pony. Even there, though, he’ll need to borrow Okinoumi’s blueprint and use lateral movement if he doesn’t want to be bunny-hopped out.

Harumafuji’s been his usual frenetic self against the weaker first weak opponents. Tochiozan is strong but he doesn’t seem to do well against Harumafuji’s speed. The yokozuna’s won each of their last 7 bouts. Endo will be challenged by Sokokurai. Sokokurai is a sly dude.

Outside of those leadership bouts, I’m looking forward to Kotoyuki v Ikioi. Both are doing well in the mid-maegashira ranks and will likely get 9 or 10 wins this basho (so they can get beaten up again next tournament). Also, Myogiryu will be a handful for the struggling Kakuryu. I’d usually be super-excited about Tochinoshi and Yoshikaze but neither seem 100%. And in those cases, as with Osunaarashi, I’d like to see them sit.

3 thoughts on “Day 9 Preview

  1. Good stuff, some comments I was putting together on day 9

    Gagamaru v Daieisho – Gagamaru’s day 8 bout was sloppy, and he seemed to have lost his composure afterwards, in my opinion. While I think many rikishi take the stoic thing too far, anyone involved in combat or martial arts know that winning comes from engaging the mind before the heart. Both Gagamaru and Daieisho are getting close to the point where achieving a winning record will be impossible, so fight well.

    Sokokurai v Endo – Endo is in the leading group, he is 1 away from the unbeaten Goeido. Should he prevail against Sokokurai, he would secure his kachi-koshi, and will likely find himself at a higher rank in November. But with a shot at the championship and the cup, he must continue to win. Thus far he is looking very good, indeed.

    Kyokushuho v Takekaze – Kyokushuho has been performing very well this tournament, but it’s time for him to face one of the more experienced sekitori, Takekaze. I would give a slight advantage to Takekaze, but only if he can get a belt grip in the first 10 seconds. The longer the bout goes, the more likely it’s Kyokushuho’s.

    Kotoyuki v Ikioi – Hey, Kotoyuki! No henka today! Ikioi fights well against the crowd that a Maegashira 7 draws, so he should have a good bout against Kotoyuki, as long as Kotoyuki does not duck the tachiai. Slight advantage to Kotoyuki.

    Takanoiwa v Mitakeumi – Oh yeah, this has potential. Takanoiwa has drawn some tough matches, including Yokozuna Harumafuji. Mitakeumi is a great up-and comer, with a lot of great sumo moves. I would give a slight edge to Takanoiwa, but I would look for Mitakeumi to try for an early slap / push fest if he can get a good blast off the line. Takanoiwa will try to wrap him out and hug-n-chug.

    Tochinoshin v Yoshikaze – The press is not showing it, but Yoshikaze’s face is seriously hurt. I would compare it to the face of Rocky Balboa in the first movie, a mass of bruises and welts. But this guy is still going to come out the the dohyo tomorrow and face off against Tochinoshin with everything he can muster. Both of these guys are having really rough tournaments, and both of them are actually very capable sumotori. Advantage to Tochinoshin as the Berserker is bruised and pulpy.

    Kaisei v Okinoumi – Komusubi, it means “punching bag” in ancient Ainu. It is a cruel nickname given aspiring sekitori to denote that they require a significant amount of trauma. Kaisei had been as high as Sekiwake, but has been suffering since the May tournament. Okinoumi is the best he has been in a long time, so advantage Okinoumi. I hope Kaisei hits the free weights following the basho, drops a few kilos and returns to his fighting size.

    Goeido v Aoiyama – At first you might think, yeah, Aoiyama has been really slapping people and throwing his massive man-boobs around quite a bit, let’s give him to Goeido for some conditioning. But the thing is, Aoiyama is so massive, and so strong that he presents an interesting puzzle. I still think the tournament leader, Goeido, will take him down in under 30 seconds. But you may want to avoid the slow-mo replay.

    Takayasu v Terunofuji – What a contrast. Takayasu is having another great tournament. He has won against some very formidable opponents, and is currently tied with stable mate Kisenosato. Terunofuji, who is no slouch, is having a terrible tournament, and must pick up 4 more wins before Sunday, or face once again being kadoban. Advantage Terunofuji here, he feels the pressure and will seize any opening.

    Kisenosato v Chiyootori – Not going to say that the Sumo Kyokai is giving easy bouts to the Great Pumpkin, but while Terunofuji is facing down giant-killer Takayasu, Kisenosato gets Chiyootori, who has only one win. The only reason this bout is worth commenting on is that it’s becoming blatant.

    Harumafuji v Tochiozan – There’s that word again, Komusubi. Tochiozan won against Kakuryu earlier in the basho, but Harumafuji is not so easily tamed. The Horse is going to win this one, we just are hoping he picks some interesting kimarite (winning move)


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