Harumafuji Gifts a Kinboshi to Sokokurai
A few brief notes before I return to nursing what is a terrible cold. Day 3 action offered some really nice action, do make a point of checking them out on Kintamayama’s youtube channel or Jason’s All Sumo Channel. Both are friends of the Tachiai team, and without them, overseas (from Japan) sumo fans would have to get by on the NHK summaries alone.
Ishiura looked strong and in control today in his win over Daieisho, you can definitely see some of the moves he has learned from Hakuho in today’s bout.
Ura lost his match against Tochiozan. Ura came in low, and Tochiozan kept him low and off balance. Isaac Newton took care of the rest. Tochinoshin (his first of the year) finally won one against the new winless Sadanoumi.
Okinoumi put in a great effort to overcome Kagayaki, who is yet to score a victory this basho. Chiyoshoma defeated Kotoyuki to remain at 3-0. So maybe Chiyoshoma is on a bit of a hot streak. Likewise Takarafuji is at 3-0 after he found no challenge from Endo.
Ichinojo? He’s doing real sumo these days. He looks like he could turn into a serious guy too. With his size and strength he could do a lot. He dominated Hokotofuji today.
Among the San’yaku battle fleet, Mitakeumi won convincingly over Tamawashi. Mitakeumi established a strong mawashi grip about 10 seconds in, and then had total control over Tamawashi. This is much to be learned here – Mitakeumi use to be a straight pusher/thruster. This worked great for him until he found there were limits to that technique, so he added mawashi sumo into the mix, and deploys it with skill. The result is that he is now a much better rikishi.
As expected, Takayasu contained Kotoshogiku and put him on the clay. The former Ozeki cold not get any power going against the Sekiwake, and appeared out of options when Takayasu took him down.
Terunofuji had no trouble with Shohozan, and is fighting much better than expected. I do hope that he has his body healed up, and we can see a lot of his sumo this tournament.
Goeido fell far too easily to Shodai today. It was clear that Goeido 1.0 was on the clay, and Shodai rolled him down and out. I have real concerns about that right ankle, as he was keeping pressure off of it today.
Takekaze gave Hakuho a honest, vigorous fight today. It was a beautiful thing to watch. But as is Hakuho’s style he took his time andwaited for his opportunity. That extra shove at the end is classic “old school” Hakuho. Surprised it showed up today. Maybe the Boss is getting frustrated.
Takanoiwa has yet to win a match this basho, but he is fighting well. Today against Kisenosato, he gave the shin-Yokozuna a decent challenge. At least twice Kiseonsato was off balanced, but recovered with remarkable speed for a man of his size, once again striking his Mae pose right at the end.
The Harumafuji match – The horse really looks out of his element now. His balance seems to be off, and he seems sluggish. I don’t know if he is taking pain meds to overcome his injuries or what, but I think that Sokokurai winning by a hatakikomi comes as a surprise to many fans.