Kyushu Day 8 Highlights


kisenosato-out

Some of you said: did Bruce get eaten by snakes? No indeed, but when you have someone doing excellent work the way Herouth has been doing with daily highlight posts, you get out of their way and enjoy. But now, back to the land of poorly worded, poorly proof-read [working on it. — PinkMawashi] ramblings from a crazed sumo fan in Texas.

For those of you wanting to know what on earth is going on with Harumafuji, the story keeps getting more twisted and opaque. Frankly, don’t expect too much until the YDC meeting following Kyushu, but it increasingly looks less cut and dried than it did the day the story broke. There could be discipline for several people involved, and frankly, the whole thing is a distraction from sumo.

From today’s outcome, it is clear that Kisenosato was too eager to return to the dohyo, by at least one tournament.  While it’s clear he has improved, it’s also clear that he is not yet fighting at even San’yaku levels. Can he, will he go kyujo? That’s the big question. It’s pretty much down to finding a doctor that can declare him injured or unable to do sumo.

Highlight Matches

Yutakayama defeats Nishikigi – Nishikigi is once again struggling. With his rank at Maegashira 15, a make-koshi is another trip back to Juryo, so he is well motivated to make this work. But on day 8 it was all Yutakayama, who took control of the match early and danced Nishikigi out.

Okinoumi defeats Daiamami – Notable because Okinoumi remains one behind the leader, and seems to (at last) be having a good tournament. He is just one win away from his kachi-koshi.

Asanoyama defeats Takekaze – The happy rikishi easily handles Takekaze, who seems to be a half step slower, and unable to tap his encyclopedic roster of judo powered kimarite.

Myogiryu defeats Kaisei – Myogiryu looked strong and sure in his bout with Kaisei. To be honest, Kaisei is probably still about 20kg too heavy for his skeleton, but he is greatly improved from earlier this year. Myogiryu is making a strong case to rise to mid-Maegashira for Hatsu. He has been much higher ranked in the past, and we can only hope this signals his health issues are resolved.

Endo defeats Aminishiki – Uncle Sumo has been using more or less the same move for the entire basho. I am very happy that Endo had a plan of action for Aminishiki’s pulling attack, and used the elder’s backward motion to accelerate his defeat. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but I would dearly love to see Endo genki and back in the joi.

Aoiyama defeats Daishomaru – Daishomaru is having a terrible basho, and Aoiyama (returning from kyujo due to an ankle injury) made quick work of him today. Aoiyama needs every win he can muster because at Maegashira 11, a full sit-out of Kyushu might leave him demoted to upper Juryo in January.

Arawashi defeats Chiyomaru – Arawashi deploys a henka, but Chiyomaru stays in the ring, but Arawashi gets the Kokonoe meatball to chase him around the dohyo. Arawashi deftly uses this momentum to drive Chiyomaru out. Arawashi stays one behind Hakuho with just a single loss thus far.

Chiyoshoma defeats Shohozan – Notable as the match ends with Chiyoshoma employing a tripping throw (kirikaeshi) to bring Shohozan to the clay. Nicely set up, well executed and worth re-watching at least once.

Chiyotairyu defeats Tochiozan – Tochiozan has ZERO WINS for Kyushu, and secured his make-koshi today. Truly puzzling given his recent excellent performance. We have to assume that some unannounced injury is at work.

Onosho defeats Kotoshogiku – Onosho finally picks up his second win, and in doing so reinforces my opinion that Kotoshogiku is back to having knee trouble, and can no longer push with enough traction to provide much resistance chest to chest, or mobility to keep himself fighting in an oshi battle.

Takakeisho defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi is facing his own undercarriage problems, but he puts up a stiff struggle to Takakeisho’s relentless pushing attacks. At this point, Mitakeumi needs 3 wins over the remaining 7 days to hold on to his Sekiwake slot. Takakeisho looking very genki.

Goeido defeats Chiyonokuni – Back to Goeido 2.0 mode. He comes in low, fast and hard. Chiyonokuni has no chance to generate any offense and was backward and out before he could do anything.

Yoshikaze defeats Takayasu – The Ozeki kept working to get inside and land a mawashi grip, but Yoshikaze defended brilliantly. As long as Takayasu was reacting to Yoshikaze’s attacks, he could not focus on offense, which let to Takayasu over-reaching and being slapped down. Great effort from Yoshikaze. Takayasu still needs 3 out of the next 7 to clear kadoban.

Ichinojo defeats Kisenosato – He made it look easy! Clearly, Kisenosato is not at full power, and he is now at real risk of a losing record. The Yokozuna started high, stayed high and really never planted his feet for a solid defense. Ichinojo just kept moving forward and casually defeated Kisenosato.

Hakuho defeats Hokutofuji – But Hokutofuji really made him work for it. In fact, this is the strongest challenge that Hakuho has faced yet this basho, and it underscores the effort that Hokutofuji puts into his matches when he’s healthy. Style points subtracted for Hakuho’s late push (dame-oshi) once the match was over. I note with some amusement that the NHK decided to show the dame-oshi in slow-motion (individually) as part of the replay package. Maybe a bit of a notification for the matta proceeding the match. Hakuho is first to kachi-koshi.

25 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 8 Highlights

  1. By my count, Aoiyama, who now has two wins, needs to go at least 3-4 in the last seven days to stay out of Juryo. Going 4-11 at M11 very likely gets him demoted, unless there’s a dearth of promotion candidates.

    I though Shohozan got robbed! Nice throw by Chiyoshoma, but at the very least they landed simultaneously. I watched it frame-by-frame, and there should definitely have been a monoii and a torinaoshi.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Transcript of the emergency meeting of the Mongolian wrestlers union:

    “Comrades, we must recognise that as Harumafuji is about to be “asked” to retire, that Terunofuji and Kakuryu are knackered beyond recall and that our beloved president Hakuho is liable to bugger off to start his own stable at any moment, we must look to the future. Who shall our next champion be? Tamawashi and Arawashi are too old, Chiyoshoma is too skinny (and annoying), Mitoryu isn’t ready and Takanoiwa… well we will discuss that later. There seems little hope unless… hmm, what was the name of that kid from six hundred miles up the arse of nowhere who was supposed to be the next big thing in 2014…”

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It seems to me that there two possibilities for Kisenato’s situation; the first is that he is trying to compete before his injury is healed, in which case he should sit out. The other possibility is that the healing is coming along ok but strength and ring rust are still issues. After an injury like that, obviously a lot of strength will be lost due to atrophy, even if the injury heals. If this is the case, then it’s possible that training and competing are needed for him to return to form (he’ll just have to suck it up). Injuries are the most aggravating aspect of this sport, time and again we see talented, even dominant wrestlers looking hapless, determined to fight on when their bodies just can’t do it. Any way, I wish him the best, and hope that he can return to the form he was in a year ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hokutofuji showed serious chops in that fight and it was clear that Hakuho was not taking him lightly–start to finish the boss was taking no chances. And that dame-oshi was mild by his standards–almost just a continuation from a tough out. Good cap to the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh and the other thing I meant to mention: Endo was verrry methodical in how he moved into Aminishiki. It’s even more obvious on the replay how measured and under control his steps were. Had him read from go.

    Like

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