Goeido Defeats Yokozuna Kakuryu, Contenders All Stay 2 Behind
Very few surprises, but some great sumo today on day 12 from the Kokugikan in Tokyo. At this point, the math behind Goeido’s tournament win (Yusho) is almost insurmountable. The final chance may be a match on day 13 against Harumafuji. With he closest contender 2 wins behind, it would take 2 losses by Goeido (12-0) over the next 3 days ( a tall order) to make contenders Harumafuji, Takayasu and Endo (all 10-2) viable.
The standing questions in the upper ranks:
- Will Goeido go undefeated? A Goeido yusho would leave eternal Yokozuna bridesmaid Kisenosato the only Ozeki never to have won a championship
- How hurt is Terunofuji? He is clearly under-performing and is in danger of returning to kadoban
- Can Kotoshogiku win one more and remove kadoban? He fights the hapless Terunofuji on day 13, so probably yes
- How far into double-digits can Takayasu’s run go? He fights Mitakeumi day 13, so maybe 11.
- What happened to Okinoumi? A strong and bold start, now he struggles to find his kachi-koshi win.
- Kakuryu ?
There are three days left to watch this unfold, with most rikishi still below the kachi-koshi threshold, but a growing number now confirmed to have losing records (make-kochi), the struggle for the high performers is the real contest.
- Leader (12-0): Goeido
- Hunt Group (10-2): Harumafuji, Takayasu, Endo
- 3 Days Remain
Endo defeats Mitakeumi – The good Endo returns to give risking star Mitakeumi a lesson in yorikiri. Endo was confident, strong and wasted no time escorting Mitakeumi out of the ring. End remains tied with the chase group at 10-2.
Shodai defeats Takanoiwa – Teetering at the edge of make-kochi, Shodai has regained his sumo skill. Really an excellent match that started out as a chest to chest grapple, and devolved into a rather brutal slapping festival. This seemed to really motivate Shodai, who masterfully took hold of Takanoiwa and sent him on the sukuinage express into the seats.
Tochiozan defeats Okinoumi – Okinoumi seems to be struggling now, after a powerful start to the basho. One more win Oki, that’s all your fans need to see. I have to wonder if he re-injured himself.
Kisenosato defeats Kaisei – Textbook yotsu-zumō here. Two large and powerful men locked chest to chest in a contest of strength, endurance and guile. Kaisei put up a huge fight, and looked more like the Kaisei of old rather than the lackluster performance we have seen this tournament. Kisenosato had to earn this win.
Harumafuji defeats Kotoshogiku – It was fast, direct and brutal. What you expect from Harumafuji. Is it possible that Kotoshogiku won’t clear kadoban?
Goeido defeats Kakuryu – Maybe someone can stop Goeido, but it Kakuryu is not capable. A push / thrust match, it was really all Goeido