Shohozan Kinboshi, Kisenosato, Takayasu and Tochiozan Remain Undefeated
Shohozan had not won a single bout this tournament, but turned on the power in the final match of the day to win against Yokozuna Kakuryu.
Meanwhile, Kisenosato and Takayasu finished an exciting day of sumo undefeated. This is actually a remarkable achievement by two men who are executing a really solid form of sumo. It should be noted that both of them train their brains out daily, and for the last 6 months or so have totally devoted their lives to achieving greatness in the sport. Heading up to the half way point, they are the ones to beat
In my greatly anticipated match of the pocket warriors, Ura prevailed over Ishiura. Interesting to see both of them try to come in super low at the tachiai. Ura established an arm lock on Ishiura and scored a frontal push out win (oshidashi).
Tochiozan dispatched Sadanoumi to remain undefeated. I might add that Tochiozan is looking very solid, in control and executing well. He is not getting the attention that the Tagonoura Heya rikishi are, but his record is fairly impressive after several basho of of uninspiring performance.
In Okinoumi’s win over Ichinojo, Okinoumi was clearly in control the entire time. While Ichinojo has greatly improved as of late, he needs to develop more by matching against veterans like Okinoumi.
Chiyonokuni has also been fighting very well, currently at 4-2. He blasted Endo off the dohyo to score his latest win. Endo has his followers, but matches like this should give his fans pause. Also in the “fighting really well” category, Chiyoshoma. He went to 5-1 today with a win over Hokotofuji, who will likely have his first career make-koshi.
Would you believe that Kotoshogiku won again? Yes indeed! Mitakeumi gave it a lot of effort, but made the mistake of going chest-to-chest with Kotoshogiku. With the hard part done, Kotoshogiku began the hug-n-chug process, and Mitakeumi learned you should never open the door for him to do that.
The match of the day, Takayasu vs Terunofuji, turned out to follow the theme for this basho thus far. Terunofuji launched out of the tachiai with intensity and action, Takayasu focused on moving forward strongly and with purpose. It was over in seconds with Terunofuji picking up his first loss.
Takarafuji fared no better against Kisenosato, but he put in a more valiant effort and gave Kisenosato a good struggle. There is more than a week to go, but fans may want to begin to fantasize about a final day playoff between Kisenosato and Takayasu for the yusho. That, dear readers, would possibly be legendary.
The Harumfuji vs Yoshikaze match was in fact the street brawl their bouts typically are. Harumafuji picked up the win by what can best be described as a slippiotoshi, when Yoshikaze face-planted into the clay after losing his footing. Like in Kyushu, there have been a large number of traction control problems on the Osaka dohyo this basho. Perhaps it should be addressed.
And in the final match of the day, Shohozan surprised Kakuryu, in a nice convincing win. I am very happy that Shohozan picked up a kinboshi. It’s clear that Kakuryu was not in top form today.
A great weekend of sumo lies ahead, as we head to the half way point of the Osaka tournament.