Day 8, and we are past the half way point. In my humble opinion, this tournament has not quite yet gotten it’s act together, although there is plenty of interest to go around. Day 7 had it’s issues, but maybe day 8 can clean this thing up.
Many of the hard-charging mid and lower ranked Maegashira are drawing easy bouts on Sunday, so we may not see too many really disruptive matches. Some questions remain
How hurt is Hakuho? Day 7’s henka would seem to indicate he did not have the mobility to take on Yoshikaze in a slug-fest.
Can Goeido settle down and be a contender for the yusho? He has a fairly easy bout Sunday, maybe he can focus and resume his drive
Who is going to put dirt on Kakuryu? He faces Tamawashi who has been wrecking dreams in Kyushu. A loss today would open the yusho race wide.
Ishiura vs Kyokushuho – should be fairly easy for Ishiura given his performance so far
Arawashi vs Toyohibiki – Toyohibiki has been hit-or miss. I am hoping he can wake up and give Arawashi a good match
Chiyoshoma vs Takanoiwa – Another of these bouts that I think holds a lot of promise for solid sumo action
Ikioi vs Chiyonokuni – After his day 7 loss, Ikioi faces a really damaged Chiyonokuni, who had been rising through the ranks. Chiyonokuni still has acres of talent and potential, but he is yet another rikishi who can’t seem to get healed up
Endo vs Sadanoumi – After a few successful days as a sanyaku chew-toy, Endo takes a tour of the middle Maegashira.
Kotoshogiku vs Terunofuji – We get our first Ozeki head-to-head a bit early. Who would think that the injured Terunofuji would have a better record starting week 2 than Kotoshogiku? Both men have lower body mechanical injuries, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen here
Harumafuji vs Yoshikaze – What will it be, another dodgy henka? The Darth Vader death grip? An all out street brawl like we saw in Nagoya?
Hakuho vs Mitakeumi – I have grave doubts about Hakuho for this tournament. Can Mitakeumi give him a shake down?
Tamawashi vs Kakuryu – Tamawashi, can you put dirt on Kakuryu? Tamawashi has been showing exceptional sumo, hopefully he watched the films from the previous days, takes his time and does not let Kakuryu dispatch him with a tribal pull-down