Wow, it’s already time for Natsu basho! Bruce is actually there and I am supremely jealous. What I would give for some decent katsu right now…Getting back to sumo, though. Bruce noted that the schedule for the first two days has been posted.
My match of the day is Yokozuna Harumafuji vs Sekiwake Kotoshogiku. Very early on we’re going to see these two recent yusho winners go head-to-head in really a must-win situation for both. Harumafuji will want to show that he is healthy and put forth a strong basho to quiet the retirement speculation. Kotoshogiku, however, will want to put together an Ozeki run and will need to take as many scalps as he can. In this case, both are up against the wall.
Kisenosato vs Yoshikaze, on paper, is a great matchup. In reality, however, I just hope Kise is doing the right thing by not going kyujo. Endo/Terunofuji will be another interesting bout, along with Ikioi vs Hokutofuji. My mind, however, is on katsu (it’s lunchtime in the US).
3 thoughts on “Natsu 2017, Day 1: Preview”
I’m looking forward to seeing Daieisho and Takayasu go to it. Daieisho has been shooting up the ranks, so it will be neat to see how he performs against the fuzzy dude.
There are two rikishi I’ll be following closely.
Firstly Takakeisho – he was superb at Haru and did very well in Juryo before makuuchi promotion. He’s low enough in the Maegashira ranks to put together a number of wins against lower ranked rikishi. He starts off against Shohozan who has not been in superb form of late.
Secondly Yutakayama – his rise has been meteoric and he starts of with matches against walking wounded Kaisei and Myogiryu who have both struggled in recent Basho. Will be interesting to see if he can get some early wins and build from there.
So things to remind readers, most basho follow a fairly predictable pattern where the first 5 days or so will see the top rikishi getting tuned up. We may see some great sumo, but it may also be the case where some of the real “test” matches for the likes of Harumafuji or Kisenosato won’t come until Thursday or later.
But we should know today if Kisenosato is able to actual move at full power and speed.