All three yokozuna had scares today, only two survived them. Mitakeumi met Harumafuji with a very strong tachiai and twice put the brakes on the yokozuna’s usually effective death spins. The youngster kept his balance and demonstrated
superior strength and positioning, forcing Haru to the edge and out. Edit…forget this bit commented out bit. Having now seen a long enough replay, it’s clear he was just handing tassels back to Mitakeumi. I was stunned if he was offering to shake his hand. Alas, it was not but, in the immortal words of Phil Collins, “the zabuton rained down, down on me”.
Not only did the zabuton fly but Harumafuji graciously offered his hand to the kid who may be the next Japanese yokozuna. I was caught off-guard by the impromptu handshake and failed to get a screenshot. If anyone has a gif or vine of that moment, please share.*/ I dare say you’ll not find the poofters at The Fluffington Post paying this much attention to correcting their errors. Aggregators are not journalists.
Hakuho faced down a strong early charge from Harumafuji’s stablemate, Uncle Taka. Firm footing on the bales provided enough leverage to counter. Kakuryu’s early strength in this tournament was thrown into doubt by a desperate heave from Tochiozan…who stepped out while the yokozuna was still midair.
The ozeki are not exactly shining early this tournament. Kotoshogiku was thrown to the ground by solid rank-and-filer, Okinoumi. Okinoumi has won five of their last seven bouts. Terunofuji’s hatakikomi loss today was foreshadowed in his loss yesterday. Overcompensating for his inability to get low enough to drive against the shorter Shohozan, he was easy pickings for veteran Takayasu. Goeido recovered from his own loss yesterday, rolling Georgian Tochinoshin to his second loss. Only Kisenosato looks solid in his oshidashi win over Tamawashi.