Aki Day 9 Highlights


Ticketholders and fans for day 9 of the Aki basho got quite a show, as it was the best day of sumo in the fall tournament thus far. Starting with a massive change in the leader situation, that now has Goeido alone atop the leader board for Aki. Goeido detractors will wail and fret as he won day 9 by once again using less than Ozeki sumo, the great news is that once he suffers his next loss, the yusho race is wide and crazy once more, as there are 4 rikishi who are sitting at 2 losses, ready to battle for the yusho. With his win, Goeido has once again successfully cleared the kadoban flag, and that is a worthy accomplishment. We can only hope that as a result, he adopts a more aggressive sumo strategy for the remainder of the basho.

Hapless Tochinoshin has become the first Markuuchi rikishi to pick up his make-koshi for the tournament. He is clearly back to his hurt phase, and can’t really perform. He will face a stiff demotion, but he is safely in Makuuchi. The story is not the same for Tokushoryu, who is one loss away from a certifiable trip to Juryo.

Highlight Matches

Asanoyama defeats Chiyomaru – Chiyomaru looked only about ¾ normal intensity, but Asanoyama persisted, kept contact, kept moving forward and prevailed. Asanoyama improves to 6-3, and seems to be within sight of his kachi-koshi.

Yutakayama defeats Daieisho – A raging oshi-zumō battle that wrenched back and forth. Daieisho, formerly a member of the leader group, falls to 6-3. Great effort by both rikishi in this match.

Takanoiwa defeats Endo – Quick but controversial, there should have been a monoii with this one, as it seems Takanoiwa may have had a heel out as he applied his final move to Endo. But it’s in the record books now. Takanoiwa remains one behind Goeido.

Takarafuji defeats Daishomaru – Takarafuji really impresses at times, he can be very patient and methodical. working to get the position he wants and then applying a finishing move. Daishomaru drops below the leader group with this loss.

Ikioi defeats Arawashi – Ikioi and Arawashi in a yotsu-zumō / mawashi battle? Yes please! Sadly it seems that Arawashi may have twisted an ankle in the process. We hope he will be ok and return tomorrow. Ikioi was also slow to get up, but it looked like maybe he had the wind knocked out of him as he fell from the dohyo.

Takekaze defeats Chiyonokuni – Takekaze, in addition to be the grand old man of Makuuchi, is an expert practitioner of Judo. Once in a while, he pulls out some Judo technique in the middle of a sumo bout, and all of the nerds (myself included) go crazy. What better day to do it than when you are facing the raging sumo-battle bot Chiyonokuni? Excellent effort from both men.

Chiyotairyu defeats Onosho – Onosho has had a phenomenal run so far, and his fans should not be concerned that he dropped his second match of the basho. Chiyotairyu owned this one from the tachiai, and had the mass and energy to keep Onosho from really getting any offense going. Onosho drops to 7-2.

Kotoshogiku defeats Tochinoshin – The Kyushu Bulldozer made quick work of Tochinoshin, who may need to rest up that chronically injured right knee of his once more. By contrast, Kotoshogiku seems to have his lower body injuries under control and is fighting fairly well this basho.

Tochiozan defeats Hokutofuji – Tochiozan had this one from the tachiai, and Hokutofuji was desperately trying to react fast enough to counter. I suspect that Tochiozan is getting his mojo back on the back half of this basho, and we will see him face yusho leader Goeido on day 10.

Yoshikaze defeats Tamawashi – Before you ask, yes of course Yoshikaze’s face bled in today’s bout. It will be that way for the rest of the tournament. As with day 8, the Berserker endured the tsuppari and sacrificed his face to get the inside grip and walk his opponent over the tamara.

Mitakeumi defeats Takakeisho – More of a yawner than it should have been, Takakeisho let himself get too far forward and Mitakeumi made him pay.

Goeido defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama made the mistake of leaning into Goeido, and of course Goeido side stepped and let the big man fall. As we discussed in the preview, the only workable strategy for Aoiyama was to hold his ground, and use his superior reach and strength to beat Goeido into submission. Goeido is now the sole leader of the Aki basho, at least until someone can put him to the clay. Maybe in some magic universe, Yokozuna Hakuho would come off of Kyujo just long enough to play with Goeido for a few minutes, to even things up.

Harumafuji defeats Shodai – Shodai, you poor fellow. Did you even know what to do here? You struggled for a few seconds but then Harumafuji realized you could not offer too much resistance and just gave you a shove to get you out of the ring. Can I take a guess that maybe Shodai is injured, and maybe that’s why he is fading? The guy can execute some great sumo, we just are not seeing it for some reason.


18 thoughts on “Aki Day 9 Highlights

  1. Since they haven’t posted the Day 11 Torikumi yet, I’m going to put down my prediction of Harumafuji vs. Ichinojo as the final match of the day.

  2. It pains me to say it, but Asanoyama has the same high stance as Shodai. Get that man a trainer and a strength-training program! Nice win, though–I thought he would be in trouble with a large, hard to move opponent.

    Ikioi threw his opponent! Ikioi threw his opponent! And hurt himself doing it. But still, Ikioi threw his opponent!

    I think Onosho slipped there at the end, but it’s for the best. He was going to get smashed. As you say, he was in trouble from go against Chiyobeastmode.

    Takakeisho, on the other hand, got the better of Mitakeumi on the tachiai. A sad overextension there, and good reflexes by the sekiwake.

    How on earth does someone the size of Aoiyama get caught leaning forward? Goeido has some real black magic in him, the villain.

    • Aoiyama must have been thinking that he had to move forward to win. In fact he had to just stand up and coax Goeido in for a little “Bulgarian Cuddle”. Sadly we did not get to see him land one of his haymakers on Goeido. But I think we have an interesting match coming up on day 10 with Tochiozan and Goeido.

  3. Interesting results as always at Aki! I was disappointed for Onosho, but you’re correct about not worrying about the loss. He’s done a fantastic job, as have the other younger rikishi, so some losses are to be expected.

    Man, I expect Goeido to win at this point, but I am not happy with how he’s done it so far. As soon as Aoyiama started moving forward, I said, “And here’s the dodge” with Goeido proving me right a second or so later. He will continue to perform these moves until they don’t work anymore too. I do not look forward to watching an Ozeki with the mentality of Takekaze, but that’s where we’re headed if Goeido’s behavior continues.

  4. Goeido faces Tochiozan tomorrow: a sort of interesting fact which I bet most of you know already is that these two made their professional debuts against each other in jonokuchi on 14 March 2005. Sawai (Goeido) beat Kageyama.(Tochiozan).

    In other news… Takekaze goes to the belt and wins. The pigs have had enough and request permission to land.

    • …what? He’s used two henkas. That’s still too many for an Ozeki but it’s hardly 1/3rd of his wins! Does “henka” now mean “any sidestep performed by a rikishi I don’t like”?

  5. Takanoiwa definitely got away with one today, kind of strange because we both picked up on it right away and were surprised that the judges didn’t see it.

    • I was yelling at my screen when I watched the replay – but technically, standing on the tawara with your heels hovering half a centimeter above the clay is fine, and between the camera angle and the low resolution of the feed, I’m prepared to accept that Takanoiwa *might* have been in the clear there.

  6. I disagree with the sentiment that Goeido is using less than Ozeki sumo. Kakuryu is praised for his reactive sumo techniques and that is what Goeido is strategically using. He has used brute force from the tachiai in a few of his wins when it made sense given his opponent and others allowing his opponent to over-commit and reacting.

    The two henkas early in the basho were poor and showed he was desperate to get out of kadoban status, but since day 4, he’s been exhibiting fine form. I’m not a big fan of Goeido, but he is clearly in the best shape in Aki. Can he keep it up?


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