*Thanks to Herouth for scouting much of this content via twitter.
Across Tokyo, inter-stable training sessions are increasing as the rikishi continue to hone their preparations for Sunday’s start of the Natsu basho. While everyone is training hard and engaging in multiple test matches, it’s the top men who are getting the headlines.
Yokozuna Hakuho participated in the Isegahama Ichimon joint training session, going up against Kaisei, Takarafuji and Kyokutaisei, finishing with a 13-0 record. He is looking strong and confident going into Sunday’s tournament start, and will be a strong contender for the yusho. Observers noted that his tachiai no longer featured his usual face-slap, as requested by the Yokozuna Deliberation Committee.
Injured Yokozuna Kisenosato trained at the Nishonoseki joint training, held today at kaze-land (Oguruma). Kisenosato went against Yoshikaze for 9 bouts and won all of them. It should be noted that something has robbed Yoshikaze of most of his overflowing genki fighting form as of late, and today his right shoulder was heavily taped. One notable from the Nishonoseki rengo keiko was the early departure of Ozeki Takayasu, who complained of pain in his left arm. Previous training sessions featured the big Ozeki suffering pain in his right shoulder in between bouts.
Meanwhile, Yokozuna Kakuryu looked strong and dominant in joint training Monday at Tokitsukaze beya. He faced Endo, Abi, and Yutakayama, finishing 18 and 1. Yokozuna Kakuryu has stated his absolute goal is to score a back-to-back yusho, overcoming everyone including Hakuho to maintain his lock on the top spot in sumo, Yokozuna 1 East. Going into Sunday’s start, he is the man to beat, with his health seeming to be good, and his body in excellent condition, he is possibly in his best form ever.
5 thoughts on “Pre Natsu News Round Up – May 7th”
Eager to see if Kakuryu can put those words into action and whether Hakuho can stop him or not.
Should be a good basho, except maybe for Tagonoura stable.
Not sure what Takayasu did to wreck himself, but I hope he defers to getting healed up. No one he is facing right now is going at “full power”, so I would suspect he could get seriously injured during the basho matches. They need to keep him healthy as he is a workable candidate for a “Replacement Yokozuna” should one be needed.
When a “Replacement Yokozuna” is needed, in my opinion. Kisenosato will probably retire by the end of this year if not early next year. Kakuryu and Hakuho are honestly one bad injury away from retirement: Hakuho with his toes/feet and Kakuryu with his hand/back/feet. Takayasu being injured again is also worrying because he just recovered from the thigh injury. If his shoulders are going too, then he’s on limited time.
My prediction: We’ll be down to one Yokozuna by January of next year. The higher ranked rikishi are getting older and repeatedly injured too often.
Bulletin board material for Hakuho ;-)
the tension and excitement mounts – Day 1 is drawing close, Kyokutaisei debuts as a starter on the big stage (not just a visitor from juryo) – but between now and then – would somebody please give Yoshikaze his genki back? for me?