Aki Day 10 Highlights


Goeido Pulling Away From Pursuit

Today closed out the second act of the Aki basho in a manner befitting this “Wacky Aki”. Yusho race leader Goeido won his match against Tochiozan to remain alone at the top of the pack, while all but one of his pursuers lost. This narrows the conditions that the yusho would come into contention again significantly, and it’s increasingly probable that Goeido will be this basho’s winner. Today he looked strong, confident went on offense immediately, and never looked back.

Harumafuji did not fare as well against Takakeisho, who successfully employed the attack and retreat strategy that got him mocked in Nagoya by Yokozuna Hakuho. This time he was able to keep Harumafuji reacting, and eventually off balance. I blame the Yokozuna for not just blasting him from the dohyo, which I am sure was his original plan. Congrats to Takakeisho for scoring yet another kinboshi.

With the end of the second act, we have a very clear picture of who is going to do well, and who is struggling to just survive. Sadly, Ishiura and Tokushoryu went into in the make-koshi bin today. Clearly Ishiura is a fraction of his Kyushu self, and I can only hope that someone can repair whatever has gone wrong and get him back to awesome.

Highlight Matches

Endo defeats Tokushoryu – Tokushoryu now make-koshi, and Endo looked really solid putting him there. Granted he is fighting the lower end of Makuuchi, but it seems that Endo is probably on an upward path after his ankle surgery. Fans everywhere are rejoicing.

Asanoyama defeats Nishikigi – Mr Sunshine gives it a text book run, and bests Nishikigi who is treading dangerously close to make-koshi himself. Asanoyama has really adapted well to the upper division, and hopefully can continue to excel.

Arawashi defeats Yutakayama – The match started with a matta, but Arawashi owned this from the tachiai. Yutakayama has been really hit-or-miss, but Arawashi is having a great run this Aki.

Chiyoshoma defeats Daishomaru – Daishomaru falls to 2 off Goeido’s leaders pace with his loss to Chiyoshoma. Oddly, Daishomaru did not even really look like he was ready, and Chiyoshoma dispatched him easily.

Takarafuji defeats Ishiura – Wild and crazy match that Ishiura could have won at least twice. For a while, Ishiura was able to get behind Takarafuji, but could not finish him off. Takarafuji just seems very calm, methodical, and keeps working his plan. Great come back for the man with no neck.

Ikioi defeats Takekaze – It was clear that Ikioi was looking for the henka, but Takekaze was going to meet him head on. Ikioi got the best of a rather slow tachiai, and quickly got Takekaze off balance and rolling. Takekaze is now one loss from maki-kochi.

Ichinojo defeats Takanoiwa – Another of Goeido’s contenders hits the clay, as Ichinojo hands Takanoiwa his third loss. When Ichinojo can get you in a throwing grip, there is little that anyone can do. With his size and strength, you are going for a ride. We tease about Ichinojo quite a bit, and that is mostly because he is a shadow of his former self in many ways. I think the other rikishi sometimes assume that he’s not a serious contender now, and on many days he’s not. But today he made quick work of Takanoiwa.

Kagayaki defeats Shohozan – Sadly this is not a wonderful victory of the struggling rikishi overcoming a strong and healthy veteran via an epic struggle. Instead Shohozan slipped on the clay and fell. Kintamayama calls these “Slippiotoshi” wins.

Chiyotairyu defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin really is in bad, banged up shape. He put up a valiant fight against Chiyotairyu, but Chiyotairyu seems to really be dialed in for now. He remains the only one in range to challenge Goeido.

Kotoshogiku defeats Onosho – The Kyushu Bulldozer dispatches Onosho, who many were counting on to challenge Goeido for the yusho. While still mathematically possible, it is increasingly unlikely. This is not uncommon with fast rising young rikishi, they hit a snag in the second week, and finish strong, but not strong enough to challenge. Onosho will be back, and better than ever. We are going to enjoy this guy and his crazy high amplitude sumo for years to come. Kotoshogiku has not looked this solid in a while.

Tamawashi defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji seemed to have a really bad case of the nerves, as he jumped early twice. Tamawashi quickly had him on defense and dominated the match. I expect that whatever strategy Hokutofuji may have had going in was so shattered by his two false starts that once the match got underway he was easy prey.

Aoiyama defeats Mitakeumi – The Man Mountain Aoiyama finally wins one after his return to the basho mid-way through. This time, Aoiyama did use the “Stand and Deliver” strategy, and Mitakeumi bought it. The future Ozeki needs to think through this one, as it’s not the first time someone has used it on him.

Yoshikaze defeats Shodai – Yoshikaze made really quick work of Shodai, he managed to keep his face from bleeding today! Shodai needs a new transmission and possibly a valve job, as he’s failing hard. From the look on his face, Shodai is getting very frustrated with his performance.

Goeido defeats Tochiozan – This is what we expect to see from Goeido. He took command from the tachiai and never let Tochiozan set up any kind of offense. Now that he has his kachi-koshi, I am hoping that we see this Goeido for the rest of the basho.

Takakeisho defeats Harumafuji – Harumafuji drops another kinboshi, and Takakeisho could not be happier. Takakeisho was able to keep Harumafuji from getting inside and taking control, so this loss is really on him. He let Takakeisho set the tempo and style of the match, and Harumafuji payed the price.

38 thoughts on “Aki Day 10 Highlights

  1. Takarafuji – Ishiura was worthy of the “what the hell was that” tag. Ludicrous circus sumo. Ishiura almost seemed to be going for the hansoku win by undoing Takarafuji’s mawashi!

    • Someone has to upload this with the Benny Hill theme in the background. Takarafuji looked far from his usual jolly self when all was said and done.

      • So there is some renewed talk of Harumafuji going into retirement in other corners of the sumo world. I hope he stands fast. The guy is nothing more than hurt at this point.

        • I am thinking that even if he somehow scrapes 8 wins this tournament, we’ll get a press conference a few days after the basho is over, in which the old lion will hand in his rope and his oicho-mage.

          The reason we’re not hearing anything from Hakkaku or the YDC at this point (at least, I haven’t seen anything) is that they don’t have any Yokozuna to spare. But Harumafuji is playing at Sekiwake level or worse. He is not doing anything low or cowardly like Go-away-do, he is just… not being a Yokozuna.

          This is turning into the most depressing basho, all my favorites and half-favorites have turned into Game of Thrones characters.

            • I’m tempted to agree. I think first would be Kakuryu or Kise, depending on the extent of their own injuries. There’s plainly no one to turn to because all of these guys have had VERY long careers. Guys like Tochiozan have been around as long but get to have bad tournaments. A yokozuna doesn’t have that luxury.

          • That’s his problem this basho. Bad instincts. Bad decisions. It’s like his brain operates at 80% or something.

          • I don’t think so. At least, his problem may be bad decisions when he loses. That is, a man who wrestles 15 days and makes 4 bad decisions is not operating at 80%. He just has four bad days. But this time he makes bad decisions or bad assessments of his position even when he wins.

        • Can anybody point to me clearly which of his losses was caused by injury? I see him working with both hands. I see his legs moving without him favoring one or the other. I see him doing a salto to avoid injury. I saw him take 9 guys one after the other in the YDC event. What injury? Yes, he works with pain in his joints. He has done so for a long time now and still got double digits in every basho but Hatsu, in which he went kyujo.

  2. The Chiyotairyu hype had skipped me, until today. Lifting Tochinoshin, even with his hobbled knee, is “no mean feat,” as they say.

    • I couldn’t believe I read this many comments down the page before someone mentioned that! Good gravy that was remarkable

      He was kicking his legs in the air like a little child!

  3. I wonder how much pressure the NSK would be putting on the other Yokozuna to be healthy enough to compete in Fukuoka?
    They run a terrible risk if Goeido wins this Basho ( which is a huge possibility at this point) and there is no one to challenge him next Basho, of having to promote a very subpar Ozeki to Yokozuna.

    • They don’t have to promote him. The decision is entirely in the hands of the YDC, and it’s a known fact that 2 yusho are not enough if they think you don’t have the “dignity” for the title. And I think they’ll be loath to promote an Ozeki with a kadoban habit. It just won’t do if he performs as a Yokozuna the way he performed in Nagoya.

  4. Mitakeumi fought like an absolute lemon today and if he brings the same game tomorrow against Goeido, then the old bullfrog will be on 10-1 and damn near over the line. However, if Mitakeumi somehow recovers his best form we could be in for some fun. Goeido will probably get Ichinojo on day 12 and oh brother, would I like to see a genuinely fired up Ichinojo in that match!

    • I have a bad feeling that we’ll see a fired-up Ichinojo tomorrow, and a best-form Mitakeumi… well… you catch my drift.

  5. No Chiyonokuni on the NHK highlights made me a sad badger. How did he do?

    Solidly behind Chiyotairyu for the ‘sleeper’ Yusho but Goeido firm favourite and seemingly operating with more freedom now he has his kachi-koshi.

    Really thought Haramafuji could still be in with a shout, but he is an absolute kinboshi machine and looked very average today.

    Sadness all round really.

  6. At least the upper Juryo competition is still fierce. Two of my favorites went up against each other yesterday, and it was a hard fought win for Ryuden over Aminishiki. Going to have the same problem tonight with Ichinojo, where I want him to stay fired up, but it pains me to see more Yokozuna suffering at the end.

    I’d be happier to see Chiyotairyu come from behind to grab the yusho, but each day of watching has made me less and less confident about picking any winners from match to match anymore.

  7. Sportsmanlike behavior from Kaisei, stopping Sadanoumi’s backward momentum to ensure that he didn’t topple off the dohyo.

    After Ichinojo stepped away from the tawara after chucking Takanoiwa out he staggered a little. Looked to me like some kind of leg pain — a pinched nerve or a joint twinge at the knee or ankle. Weird.

    Hokutofuji’s loss to Tamawashi today was very interesting because it included a sequence of events that also occurred during Takakeisho’s loss to Chiyotairyu on Day 7. In each case the eventual loser attempted a slap down on his opponent’s arms that whiffed completely because although the eventual winner was moving forward his arms weren’t outstretched. The opportunity cost of the badly timed slap down was that the eventual loser failed to get any forward momentum going just an instant before the eventual winner smashed forward into him. Defeat followed quickly. (Tamawashi even seemed to invite the slap down with a feint.)


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.