It Feels Like An Old Fashioned Basho.
Remember last year when every tournament was a contest between Hakuho and Harumafuji to see which one could go without losing a single bout? Those were heady days when to two Mongolian super-sumotori ruled the dohyo, and nobody could really do much to them.
Then there were injuries, hospitalization, recuperation, and problems galore. For fans of these two great Yokozuna, it’s quite enjoyable to see them dominant once more. Each has a powerful and distinctive style of sumo that will be sorely missed once they retire (which is coming sooner than any of us want).
Items of note
Takayasu lost his first match today to fellow Sekiwake Tamawashi. This match was lost at the tachiai, which was sloppy for Takayasu. He slipped to 5-1
Goeido seems to be running the 2.0 software again, which I really like. I have had fears over the stability of his injured ankle, but it would seem that he is back to something close to his Aki form, which is excellent Ozeki class sumo.
Also working hard to ensure we never get to No-Zeki is Terunofuji. Today he looked like a cat toying with a grasshopper. Even the gyoji caught a piece of the action.
Onosho defeats Kotoyuki – Onosho continues to impress. Today he exploded into the tachiai and the momentum just carried Kotoyuki out.
Ura defeats Ichinojo – Simple, Ichinojo let Ura dictate the form of the match. Ura went low, stayed low, Ichinojo tried to follow and Ura was in control. Done.
Kagayaki defeats Takakeisho – A festival of pushing, shoving, slapping and bashing until Takakeisho lost his balance and fell. The pushme-pullyous seems to be running sumo now. Did everyone forget the rest of the kimarate list?
Takanoiwa defeats Shodai – Shodai is still too high at the tachiai, and never got his footing.
Tamawashi defeats Takayasu – Tamawashi won this one on the line. Takayasu was off balance from the start, and Tamawashi made him pay for it.
Yoshikaze defeats Kotoshogiku – Good bye Kotoshogiku, you were one of the good ones, and you will be sorely missed, as you are a real character. But you have nothing left, please take your kabu and become a great leader of young rikishi. Also, Yoshikaze is really running well this basho.
Terunofuji defeats Chiyonokuni – Like a ping pong match with 300 pound plus big men. And to be honest, it was all Terunofuji. Sadly the Gyoji got in the way at some point and got hit with Chiyonokuni being tossed around like a hacky-sack. It’s strange to say, but it looks like both Ozeki are running well this basho, and its so very very welcome.
Goeido defeats Mitakeumi – Aggressive, adaptive, committed. Goeido 2.0 was on the dohyo today, and he provided Mitakeumi with a valuable lesson. No plan survives first contact, and Goeido got inside his decision loop and shut him down.
Kisenosato defeats Daieisho – Kisenosato got the easy match today. Poor Daieisho is far out of his element. He will be back, but we hope he is not damaged by this tournament ranked much higher than he should be right now.
Hakuho defeats Endo – Hakuho could have won this match in the first three seconds, but he was not going to let Endo off easily. He kept slapping and pushing, pushing and slapping. Demonstrating the match was going to last until he got tired. well, Endo decided he had enough and exiting the dohyo after a solid push to give him cover.
Harumafuji defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama is known for landing hay-makers, so what did Harumafuji do? Grabbed two handfuls of flabby breast meat and started shoving. Aoiyama was really unable to move his arms, or land any blows. Kind of disgusting, but effective.
3 thoughts on “Natsu Day 6 Highlghts”
Bruce, awesome round-up, as always! Thanks for this terrific blog. It’s a real pleasure to catch the crisp updates laced with humour and insight.
You are spot on that Takayasu lost that at the tachiai. I think he got his bell rung. Tamawashi seemed to plant the top of his head right into Takayasu’s chin. That got the soon-to-be-Ozeki stood upright and Tamawashi carried him straight back and over. I hope he didn’t get a concussion. Depending on the severity, he may not be able to give ozeki-level competition the next few days.
It is FANTASTIC to see Hakuho and Harumafuji aggressive, powerful, and out-in-front. Goeido has been impressive while retirement’s got to start sounding good for Kotoshogiku. He’s a one-trick pony and that one trick couldn’t get Yoshikaze to take a single step backwards. As he continued to try to drive, the komusubi simply sidestepped, allowing Giku’s momentum to flop to the clay. For this whole basho, I have not seen Giku try anything new and now is when he needs to start learning new tricks if he wants to win.
Superb summary today Bruce hahaha.
It’s sad to see Kotoshogiku fall like this but it seems he literally does not have the legs to perform his preferred kimarite and no real intention to win any other way like you said Andy.
I’ve been watching Chiyonokuni’s tachiai and I think he needs to come at it much more forcefully, he’s not always being that direct which immediately lets his opponent in. He needs to make sure he couples that energetic, frenetic pushing with some greater force too, if he wants to push out the heavier and more skillful top rikishi, just like when he was in a good position against Kisenosato.
I’ve not been that convinced by Shodai so far this basho, even though I know he has a decent number of wins.