Kyushu Day 3 Preview: A Tale of Two Goeidos

If there have been two phases to Goeido’s ozeki-dom, no matchup exemplifies the shift better than his record against Yoshikaze (who he faces tomorrow). Upon promotion, Goeido was quite shaky in his performance, only achieving 8 wins thanks to a fusen win on Day 2. His loss to Yoshikaze on Day 3 by komatasukui, fairly demonstrated that there was a long road ahead. Goeido and Yoshikaze had eachother on the edge but neither had the upper body strength to make a throw. When Goeido went for an ill-timed kick, Yoshikaze pushed him over backwards.

Goeido continued to struggle for about a year and a half, going kadoban 3 times and losing to Yoshikaze in each of their next three bouts. During this time, he managed 9 wins one time, generally barely able to manage 8.

However, between January and March of this year, Goeido’s career shifted.  He must have conquered his demons because he won 12 matches back home in Osaka, including his first against Yoshikaze in nearly two years. Since, the ozeki has come out on top against Tazzy in each bout. I wonder if there was a change to his training or his upper body strength that helped him over the edge. The key is, can he keep it up? Forget yokozuna-hood. The Goeido of the last 6 months is the ozeki we’ve been expecting.

One thought on “Kyushu Day 3 Preview: A Tale of Two Goeidos

  1. The first change seems to be that he has been lifting free weights. If this increased his strength, or his skeletal muscles grew and overcame what ever chronic mechanical injuries he had, I am not sure.

    Starting with Aki, his tactics changed to pure offense. Some great examples were his matches with Kisenosato, and his match with Harumafuji. In each of these, his finishing move is just on the cusp of losing balance and failure. He puts everything into his closing move. Most rikishi fight a balance between offense and defense. Hakuho, at the top of his form is heavily weighted offense. Kisenosato at the top of his form always leaves a huge defensive / recovery route. You could see this in his Kyushu day 2 bout. He handled that masterfully, but his posture, his feet, are always heavy and ready to shift to defense. This is why Kisenosato will always be the consummate Ozeki. He plays it strong and safe, and he is really really good at that.

    Watch those Aki Goiedo bouts, when he goes to finish, there is not turning back, no recourse if his move fails.

    His opponents were, for the most part, not prepared for Goeido to work this way. His body is an excellent blend of proportions, weight and strength. If he can stay on this path, he is a real contender.


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