A quick recap of day two action from Osaka. Ichinojo looks to be the real spoiler for this basho, and as long as he keeps up this run, he’s going to be tough to beat. Takayasu seems to be off to a cold start, and Mitakeumi can smell the opportunity ripe in the air. Can he finally score double digits this time? We get to see Takakeisho unleash his wave-action attack, and Shohozan lands a beauty of a slap.
Aoiyama defeats Daiamami – It’s tough to know what plagued Aoiyama in Kyushu, but he looks to be back to his overpowering self now. At the very bottom of the Makuuchi division, he can do a lot of damage if he is healthy. The enormous left knee bandage is a worry, but he seems to be moving well enough for now.
Hidenoumi defeats Takekaze – Takekaze tries to hit and shift, but Hidenoumi stays low and engaged. Clearly, Hidenoumi knew what to expect, and read the situation well. This could be the twilight of veteran Takekaze’s time on camera.
Ikioi defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu came out of the tachiai strong, but Ikioi very effectively blocked him, tied him up and shut him down. Myogiryu rallied, but Ikioi had the inside position and stepped back, forcing Myogiryu off balance. Ikioi charged and used his momentum to drive Myogiryu from the dohyo. Nicely done, in spite of Ikioi’s injuries.
Ishiura defeats Daishomaru – These Ishiura henkas are getting boring. This one had a nice variation, in that Ishiura rolled into a quick sukuinage.
Yutakayama defeats Chiyoshoma – Nice drive from Yutakayama, and Chiyoshoma can put up almost no resistance. Yutakayama had difficulty holding on to his Maegashira rank in his first few attempts, but he seems to have settled into the top division.
Chiyonokuni defeats Tochiozan – Tochiozan is clearly still injured, but Chiyonokuni drives hard (as he always does), and dominates Tochiozan.
Kagayaki defeats Okinoumi – Some nice work here by Kagayaki, who fights hard to get inside, and focuses on keeping control of Okinoumi’s upper body while relentlessly driving forward. The veteran can’t recover, and it’s Kagayaki’s win.
Daieisho defeats Ryuden – Daieisho came off the line hard and was nothing short of fierce in his bout today against Ryuden. At no point did he let Ryuden mount an effective defense or offense. A half step ahead from the start, Daieisho drove Ryuden from the ring.
Kaisei defeats Abi – It’s really interesting to see Abi work at this higher rank. He is encountering some big men who are fairly genki this tournament. Abi starts with nodowa and tries to convert that into a slap down, but Kaisei is too massive and too stable. Once Abi starts moving backward, Kaisei chases him down for the win.
Yoshikaze defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji really applies himself in this match and has Yoshikaze back in a hurry, and off balance. But the Berserker rallies and gets Hokutofuji in retreat. Both of them take a dive off the lip of the dohyo, with an unfortunate tea-bag delivered by Yozhikaze in the lap of a shimpan.
Shohozan defeats Chiyomaru – Trading blows from the tachiai, this match features a really energetic slap delivered to Chiyomaru’s face, which seems to disrupt his thrusting attack. From there it’s all Shohozan for the win.
Takakeisho defeats Shodai – Takakeisho takes full advantage of Shodai’s weak and high tachiai, coming in low, strong and fast. From there, he fires up the “wave action” and Shodai is doomed. Shodai tries a wave himself and receives a pride obliterating face-slap from Takakeisho. This was all Takakeisho’s sumo.
Kotoshogiku defeats Chiyotairyu – While it looked like Kotoshogiku was going to set up the Hug-N-Chug, he rolled to his right for a nice sukuinage. Chiyotairyu was defeated before he knew what happened.
Mitakeumi defeats Takarafuji – Mitakeumi battles hard immediately to block Takarafuji landing a controlling grip, and for a time the two of them struggle almost motionless in the middle of the dohyo. You can see the extreme exertion as each man tries to overpower the other. To Mitakeumi’s credit, Takarafuji breaks the scrum and manages to get Mitakeumi moving backward, but Mitakeumi takes his time and counter-attacks. Nice sumo from both men.
Tamawashi defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin was driving hard for a grip, and Tamawashi used that to his advantage. Unable to get the match on his terms, Tochinoshin battled hard but it was Tamawashi who called the tune.
Ichinojo defeats Takayasu – I fear that Pooh-Bear has gotten so used to using that shoulder blast, he is not sure how to engage someone like Ichinojo. Clearly, he is off the pace and out of his element from the start, and Ichinojo gives him no quarter. Takayasu drives forward against Ichinojo’s immovable bulk, and Ichinojo helps him continue in motion all the way to the clay. The big Mongolian made it look easy.
Goeido defeats Arawashi – Good thing, too! Goeido launched early, and it should have probably been a matta. He was in Arawashi’s chest in no time and drove him back and out.
Kakuryu defeats Endo – Endo made him work hard for this win, and really put up a strong fight against the sole surviving Yokozuna. Endo drove Kakuryu back to the tawara within the first few moments, but the Yokozuna’s reactive sumo took over and got Endo off balance and moving towards the center of the ring. A well-timed hatakikomi sent Endo to the clay.
8 thoughts on “Haru Day 2 Highlights”
Ishiura is rapidly becoming the most frustrating rikishi to watch. He just jumps out of the way of every opponent. He won’t be winning the technique prize any time soon.
I think Ichinojo and Tamawashi will have very good tournaments and will be contenders for the yusho. Very good technical sumo from Ichinojo in particular.
I heard a rumour that Tamawashi was looking very good in the run-up to the basho. Both he and Ichinojo are looking very genki! Both of them executed perfect game plans against their day 2 opponents.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate Mitakeumi’s great recovery after being pulled off-balance at the edge by Takarafuji. This kind of mobility from a low and balanced stance reminds me of Takayasu’s winning ways during his ozeki run. I remember in particular a foiled henka attempt by Takanoiwa that showcased Takayasu’s incredible agility at the time.
A great set of matches today with some fantastic sportsmanship from various rikishi who either helped up their opponent (or offered their hand to do so), slowed down at the edge of the dohyo to prevent their opponent from falling off, or both. More of this behavior, please!
I absolutely agree about Ishiura. There are more techniques that a smaller rikishi can apply than a henka and he’s practically relying on it as a default move.
I’m calling it now: zensho yusho for Ichinojo! Tamawashi suddenly looks like a dark horse contender. Kakuryu was lucky that Endo departed from his usual patient self in his eagerness to grab a kinboshi. Forget Ishiura’s henkas–the most annoying thing in sumo right now is Ryuden’s pre-tachiai routine.
It’s day 2 ppl so much will change
Takayasu looking, frankly, kind of clumsy. The power is there but the caution is not. On the plus side, seeing Ichinojo on form is always a treat.
Various people have said that Takayasu’s sumo is getting sloppy because of Kisenosato’s injury. It might be a combination of that and his own thigh injury, but there’s definitely something “off” with Takayasu if not more than one thing at this point.
Ichinojo blocked Takayasu’s right hand grab like he’d already seen the footage of the match. Then he looked confused at how easily he pushed him to the clay. I…I am afraid of this Ichinojo. Is this…IT?