Intense, Delightful and Satisfying.
Day 11 was big, it was pivotal, it was everything sumo fans wanted. But on day 12 we got more, so much more. This basho saved all of its mojo for the end, and it’s delivering the goods.
We start with the Yusho race – As noted earlier, both Harumafuji and and Hakuho lost their matches today, and Kakuryu won over a failing Kotoshogiku. Ishiura was defeated by Ikioi, which means that all of the leaders have dropped back into the hunt group and chasers, and the yusho race is getting wider, rather than narrower.
This also means the ugly shadow of the bad call against Goeido continues to grow. The race for the Emperor’s Cup now stands thusly:
- Leader: Kakuryu
- Chasers: Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Ishiura
- Hunt Group: Hakuho, Goeido*, Shodai
3 matches remain
If either Hakuho or Harumafuji can hand Kakuryu another loss, we will witness one of the more exciting finishes to a basho, and the sumo year, in recent history.
In Juryo, the re-rack of the leaderboard was just as dramatic, with early Juryo-yusho favorite Osunaarashi losing to Sato. That leaves Seiro, at Juryo 11, the sole leader. As fortune would have it. Seiro will face Osunaarashi tomorrow! A Seiro loss could put the Juryo-yusho into a 5 way tie, with just 2 days to go.
Sokokurai defeats Arawashi – Sokokurai did indeed secure his kachi-koshi today. He will be staying in Makuuchi for January, and he may even see a nice promotion if he can pick up another win or two.
Ikioi defeats Ishiura – As predicted, the veteran Ikioi knew exactly what to do with Ishiura – stonewall at the tachiai, bottle him up and remove his mobility as a factor and show him the door. Ikioi also earned his kachi-koshi today with this bout, so it was doubly sweet.
Tochinoshin defeats Ichinojo – Ichinojo is really not looking himself, but Tochinoshin is on his sumo and moving very well. Kachi-koshi for Tochinoshin as well today, and he earned it well.
Yoshikaze defeats Takayasu – Heartbreak match here, with Takayasu getting his make-koshi, and demotion from Sekiwake. Not only did he not maintain his fight for Ozeki, he is suffering a huge reset. Prior to the Kyushu basho, he was reported to be in bad form during keiko, and many sumo experts were worried about him. During the basho, he took a couple of very nasty dives, and I would guess we can add injury to whatever else is haunting Takayasu.
Goeido defeats Endo – Good form again today from Goeido, I am happy to report. As the ichiban Ozeki for Kyushu, he will now face the Yokozuna to close out the year. I feel much more confident about his chances, now that he seems to be properly tuned up and running.
Kakuryu defeats Kotoshogiku – Kotoshogiku once again had nothing today. I hope he can get in better condition for January.