This Bento Comes With A Generous Portion of Yorikiri [寄り切り]
Another fantastic day of sumo, with a lot of strength and power sumo on display. Three more rikishi secured their rank or promotion through kachi-koshi today (winning record), while many more are facing demotion and a losing record. With two thirds of the tournament now in the record books, it’s clear that Goeido is having the basho of his career, and it’s his cup to lose.
- Leader (10-0): Goeido
- Chasers (9-1): Harumafuji, Endo
- Hunt Group (8-2): Kisenosato, Takayasu, Kotoyuki
- 5 Bouts Remain
Gagamaru defeats Kyokushuho – Gagamaru’s technique is to be huge, get that weight in motion, and use it to push your opponent out of the ring. Simple, basic and not very elegant. Kyokushuho resisted well given the size difference between these two, but Gagamaru prevailed.
Endo defeats Sadanoumi – Endo and Harumafuji seem to be unstoppable right now. They are tight on the heels of Goeido, and are ready to strike after his first loss. Today against Sadanoumi, it was all Endo, with a straight push off the line and out of the ring. Free refills on Yorikiri all day at the Kokugikan!
Kotoyuki defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki came out strong and took control early, but lost his balance, and Kotoyuki pivoted to attack in the blink of an eye. Kagayaki was at the tawara, and was easily taken out of the ring. Kotoyuki picks up his kashi-koshi.
Chiyonokuni defeats Daishomaru – Nice forearm blast by Chiyonokuni off the tachiai, followed by an intense pushing match. Daishomaru was able to break contact twice, but Chiyonokuni was clearly in charge. Sadly Daishomaru now has a losing record (make-kochi), and will be demoted in the November banzuke.
Mitakeumi defeats Ikioi – This was one of a series of really solid matches today. Both me brought handful of ideas to the tachiai, and both worked hard to those ideas in play. A few seconds of thrust attacks and Mitakeumi was at the bales, with Ikioi reaching for a throw, which Mitakeumi countered and reversed. Both men then grappled, with Ikioi continuing to try throws, keeping Mitakeumi off balance. Mitakeumi, off balance as he was, continued to press the attack, driving Ikioi backwards, and in time out of the ring. The crowd loved it, and so did I. Well done to both.
Kaisei defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze still looks really banged up, with his eyes swollen nearly closed. His injuries seem to be effecting his balance, which is normally on par with a ballet dancer. Instead, the mighty Brazilian was able to get him off balance and push him to the clay. Both of these men are facing make-koshi in the next few days in all likelihood.
Shodai defeats Tochiozan – Shodai seems to have remembered his sumo, and is fighting much better than week one. He easily handled Tochiozan, who is also struggling this basho. But it’s Yorikiri day, so we had plenty to share.
Takayasu defeats Okinoumi – I think we can clearly see a strategy behind Takayasu over the last 3 matches (it was also on display in Nagano). Lock up your opponent and wear them down, use your massive size and stamina to wear your opponent down and attack the moment they make even the slightest mistake. Okinoumi put up a great effort, and looked very solid. But Takayasu was clearly setting the tone on this one, and it was only a matter of time. Takayasu gets his kachi-koshi, will remain at Sekiwake, and we enjoy another free refill of Yorikiri.
Kisenosato defeats Kotoshogiku – Really the feature match today, even though today was jammed full of great sumo. Kotoshogiku is looking healthy and strong this tournament. Kisenosato, after a cold start, is really in his groove now, and is showing why he is the top Ozeki. The match was a huge test of strength, which both rikishi do really well. Finally, someone presented Kisenosato with a real challenge, but it was clear that Kotoshogiku was not going to get his hug-n-chug running, and Kisenosato served him a hot steaming plate of Yorikiri. Kisenosato reaches kachi-koshi, but he is focused on a narrow path that might give him one shot to win. But that depends on a pair of losses…
Goeido defeats Terunofuji – And no, Goeido has no interest in letting Harumafuji or Kisenosato have a chance at Yusho. Terunofuji seems to be under his game from Nagano, and we now have to consider if he will be kadoban going into the November tournament. Straightforward win by Goeido, with a (you guessed it) Yorikiri.
Harumafuji defeats Aoiyama – There was really no contest here, but I will invite readers to watch Harumafuji the moment Aoiyama goes down. Harumafuji is, in my opinion, has the highest chance to win this one. It may not evolve until day 12, but it’s coming.
Kakuryu defeats Takarafuji – Kakuryu is clearly back in his winning habits, after a cold start (he was out a month to heal). Good, solid bout with Takarafuji, who is falling prey to the truth that Sekiwake is a tough rank to hold on to. This makes what Takayasu is doing even more impressive. Takarafuji put up a great effort, no shame for him on this loss.