🌐 Location: Fukuyama
Today we bid farewell to the 2017 Aki Jungyo!
The event at Fukuyama has been the last of the Aki Jungyo, and now the (about) 160 participating rikishi are heading straight to Fukuoka, where they’ll join the waiting low division rikishi who were busy preparing lodgings and equipment for the past week or so.
The Jungyo day itself started with heavy rain, carried over by the most recent typhoon. Despite the rain, the local fans filled the venue:
They got to see some very energetic practices, including Hakuho doing both reverse and straight butsukari (and getting pushed off the dohyo, much to his embarrassment).
All Yokozuna were eager to leave a strong impression, and made statements to the press either yesterday or today.
In yesterday’s practice session, Harumafuji was working on his Tachiai with Chiyoshoma, launching himself at his fellow Mongolian partner 11 times. The next one was so powerful, Chiyoshoma was blown away and nearly fell off the dohyo.
But Harumafuji doesn’t like to see people hurt, so he grabbed Chiyoshoma by the arm before he started to take off, and made sure he stayed put.
“Just practicing the basics,” said the Yokozuna.
Nobody can overlook the fact that the Yusho winner, although he clocked in every day, did not participate in the bouts and did very little on-dohyo practice during the Jungyo. “I’m concentrating on the Kyushu basho,” was the Yokozuna’s response.
“Yes, of course I’ll fully participate,” answered Kakuryu decisively when asked about the Kyushu basho.
The Yokozuna who has been vigorously practicing since the beginning of the Jungyo says he is feeling positive about the state of his health. He intends to engage in degeiko with some of his potential rivals before the honbasho. “I’ll do what I have to do. The important thing is to get into the right flow in the basho”.
“I’ll be in the basho from day 1. That’s obvious,” was Kisenosato’s statement.
The newest Yokozuna did not practice on the dohyo every day of the Jungyo, but on the days he did, he showed signs of improvement both to his upper left side and to his left ankle. But his own statement was (as usually, I must say) somewhat vague: “A lot has happened in the past month. There were typhoons. And I got called to do dohyo-iri in various places, which is something I can’t always do. It was very different from the previous Jungyos I participated in.” More specifically about his health and participation in the basho: “I have been able to work my entire body patiently. As a rikishi, it’s obvious I have to participate in the basho, and I want to get results.”
“Be sure to remind me every 50 days!” reacted the dai-yokozuna when told yesterday that the Olympic games start in 1000 days. He reasserted his wish to perform a dohyo-iri in the Tokyo games. When asked about the next basho and his chances for his 40th yusho, he replied brightly “I’m doing swimmingly”.
Today he toned down his replies a little bit. “I joined the jungyo in the middle, and gradually improved my body and my dohyo-sense. My wish was to end the Jungyo in the best shape. I’d like to mark myself a 100, but I can only give myself 50.”
“As the senior yokozuna, I felt sometimes that I was able to lead and pull my convalescent junior fellow yokozuna forward,” he added with satisfaction.
Regarding his recent sodium habit, watch Goeido cover his head as Hakuho rains fire and brimstone – OK, just salt – all over the place:
— スモートフォン (@azechiazechi) October 29, 2017
As they have done before in Tokyo, today the Jonidan, Sandanme and Makushita rikishi wrestled in elimination format rather than the usual torikumi.
In Jonidan, Teraoumi (Of Shikoroyama beya) won, beating Motokiyama (Tamanoi) in the final.
For Sandanme, the winner was Takatenshu (Takanohana), who beat Kotodairyu (Sadogatake) in the final.
And the Makushita winner was Akinohana (Takadagawa), who beat Terao (Shikoroyama) in the final.
Of the sekitori bouts, all I have is, as usual, the musubi:
— 加菜 (@casandcan) October 29, 2017
Hakuho 10 – Kisenosato 4. Trust Hakuho to reach double figures in two weeks.