As Bruce reported, Hakuho fell to the Arawashi blitz. Blink and it is over. Taking a page from injured Harumafuji’s playbook, the maegashira executed a perfect half-henka at the tachiai, secured a two-handed belt grip, and spun Hakuho from the dohyo with startling efficiency.
Suffice it to say, Hakuho is now leading the chase group behind Kisenosato, with Takanoiwa and Sokokurai staying on pace.
Kisenosato himself didn’t have an easy path to his eighth win and kachi-koshi record. Okinoumi charged with full-force and looked to have an upset. But the limber ozeki’s retreat was strategic. Okinoumi over-committed and fell out of the dohyo as Kisenosato pivoted on the straw bales, victorious.
My highlight match, though, was Mitakeumi’s ability to overcome a fierce challenge from Takayasu, improving to 5-3. Takayasu appeared to want to rip Mitakeumi’s face off, chin first, but Mitakeumi persevered and ushered the veteran from the ring. Aoiyama had Endo’s kenshokin clearly in his mind, aggressively shoving the popular rikishi into the crowd. Perhaps the new wife wants to start decorating their place? The look on his face when he sees that fat stack of envelopes is nothing short of wonderful.
I never cover Takekaze but that may change. The dude is a solid veteran and has often been a stumbling block on the schedules of my favorite wrestlers. Today, though, he may have become one after his one-arm judo throw of makuuchi lightweight Kaisei.
One thought on “Hatsu 2017, Day 8: Kisenosato in sole lead”
I have now watched Hakuho vs Arawashi about 20 times, and it amazes me. I wonder if the Boss was surprised that Arawashi pulled this out against him. Today included, I still have a decent level of confidence in a Hakuho yusho a week from today.
Kisenosato’s bout was quite enlightening, as he clearly gets in trouble and has to improvise. Furthermore, it worked. Okinoumi is not the threat he should be right now, but maybe, just maybe, Kisenosato will refrain from choking. The yusho path is open to him.
Poor Osunaarashi seems far to injured to fight right now, and its painful to watch him struggle. Sokokurai and Takanoiwa continue to suprise and delight, and what the hell happened to Ichinojo? it’s as if he decided to do sumo again.
Takayasu learned today that Mitakeumi is the real deal. He evolved from a straight pushme pullyou into a real sekitori. It was amazing to watch Mitakeumi absorb the pounding and work his way to Takayasu’s mawashi, and then dispatch Takayasu directly. So now Takayasu has to overcome Mitakeumi to claim an Ozeki slot, and the kid is hungry, determined and skilled.
Terunofuji found a piece of the old, fierce Terunofuji today and used it to stop Goeido’s attack. My heart goes out to Terunofuji, it’s clear he’s not personally ready to give up, even if his body is screaming for a break.