A Shimpan Monoii Parade
Just a brief run down of some of the action today in Osaka. Your humble author is humbled by a raging cold!
Day two returned to a more expected form, with all 4 Yokozunas winning their matches, though the match between Harumafuji and Ikioi resulted in a monii. Frankly at this point I fear Harumafuji is still impacted by the tear in his thigh muscle sustained in Hatsu. Like any top athlete, he expects to be able to overcome this problem, but it may instead lead to further injury.
Shodai gave Kisenosato a worthy bout, but the shin-Yokozuna stayed in form after a brief flurry of attack by Shodai. I direct readers to watch Kisenosato’s lower body positioning and posture as he counter attacks and pushes Shodai out. When the “Great Pumpkin” gets in this pose, you may as well throw yourself to the clay, as he has already won.
Neither the Hakuho vs Sokokurai or the Takekaze vs Kakuryu had too much mojo today. I do think I begin to see that many sumo fans discount Kakuryu, perhaps because they don’t understand his sumo. In many cases, he is almost purely reactionary. He lets his opponent get fired up on attack, then exploits the first weakness or off balance moment that appears. Usually with brilliant results. But to get there he has to often throw or push from a precarious stance. This may be the source of his frequent physical problems.
Terunofuji beat Tamawashi, and gave him a little extra “shove”. Terunofuji must be feeling his oats. Elsewhere in Ozkei-land, Takayasu dismantled Goeido with a pretty good show of strength. The two grappled furiously, and Takayasu was able to get Goeido off balance and slap him down. Takayasu seems to be running in good form early this basho.
Kotoshogiku is now 2-0, and may start to have hopes at 10. He is looking strong, and whatever knee and back problems he has, he is fighting through the pain. Takanoiwa suffered a brutal hug-n-chug attack that ended the way they almost always do.
Mitakeumi and Yoshikaze were both in “Humanioid Typhoon” mode today, and completely blasted their opponents out of the ring.
The other monoii of the day came in the Kotoyuki vs Okinoumi bout, where a re-match was declared. Okinoumi seems to be in tough shape, watching him shiko before the bout, he can barely lift his leg at all. I would guess his painful injury is to blame.
Ishiura decisively beat Tochinoshin, who is fading fast due to injuries. This bout, Ishiura was more like the rikishi we saw in Kyushu – fast, strong determined and seemingly everywhere at once. I am looking forward to Ishiura vs Ura coming in the next few days.
Daishomaru bested Ura in a fast and furious match. Ura fans take heart, it is going to take him a few basho to get comfortable fighting Makuuchi class sumotori. Points for attempting his space-time defying back bend once again, but Daishomaru persisted through the sorcery and won.