Waiting For Kotoshogiku
Yesterday’s withdrawl of Yokozuna Kakuryu was a disappointment, but not unexpected due to his poor performance. As a result, Kotoshogiku survived for another, and was awarded a fusen (default) win over the Yokozuna. I take no joy in his imminent demotion, but given how crowded Komosumbi and Sekiwake will be in Osaka, it’s probably time to clean up the upper San’yaku ranks.
Meanwhile the basho is wide open still, if Kisenosato loses at least once prior to day 15, as many expect given his past performance anxiety, you could have any of the Maegashira with 2 losses pick up a stunning Yusho win, or better still a mass multi-way final day mini tournament. But we still have 3 days to go before we see what day 15 will bring
Hokutofuji vs Ichinojo – Battle of the lower Maegashira, it seems the schedulers are testing Ichinojo now against the higher ranked and hugely successful Hokutofuji. This match has lots of potential. Ichinojo won their only prior bout.
Chiyoshoma vs Sokokurai – Chiyoshoma has a slight losing record (5-6) but has been fighting well. Meanwhile Sokokurai is in the group tied for second behind Kisenosato. Chiyoshoma can play spoiler and even up at 6-6 with a good effort. Their two prior bouts were split, so it’s anyone’s guess.
Takayasu vs Arawashi – Arawashi has crumpled some upper ranked rikishi this tournament, now Takayasu faces him, and his lightning speed. Takayasu may need to come in with a flexible plan for this match, as Arawashi may surprise from the tachiai. Takayasu has lost to him twice before, and only won once in their prior 3 matches.
Kisenosato vs Ikioi – Fans are dreading the expected Kisenosato loss, and Ikioi is more than capable of handing it to him. As long as Ikioi can keep the dump truck from locking up the mawashi, he stands a chance. Ikioi has never defeated Kisenosato, who commands a 13-0 record against Ikioi
Tamawashi vs Kotoshogiku – It falls to Tamawashi to try to deliver the kimarate that ends Kotoshogiku’s Ozeki rank. I feel bad for both of them. In thier 8 prior bouts, Tamawashi has won twice