Some fun bits from Herouth, via her twitter account:
Abi (on his failed attempt at yotsu): I was trying all kinds of stuff, but it didn’t get me to win. My stablemaster will probably yell at me back at the lodgings. I want to go back to Tokyo!
Never change, Abi – your fans adore you.
In other news, former Makuuchi mainstay Takanoiwa is kachi-koshi in juryo as of day 9, with just a single loss. I think we will see him back in the top division for Aki.
Leader – Mitakeumi
Chaser – Asanoyama
Hunters – Takayasu, Tochiozan, Endo
6 Matches Remain.
What We Are Watching Day 10
Tochiozan vs Ishiura – Tochiozan is dialed in right now. His sumo is tight, efficient and effective. Ishiura is struggling, and I don’t think he will find win #5 today.
Hokutofuji vs Asanoyama – Highlight match of the first group, Asanoyama currently sits alone in second place, one loss behind the perfect score of Mitakeumi. After a few poor days at the beginning of the basho, Hokutofuji is up and dishing out his better sumo daily. This is, believe it or not, their first meeting.
Onosho vs Kyokutaisei – Likely a make-koshi for Kyokutaisei, who is having an absolutely horrible basho. Although Onosho went to defeat day 9, I would expect him to bounce back strongly.
Takarafuji vs Yutakayama – Takarafuji won their only prior match, but since Aki 2017, Yutakayama has improved his sumo dramatically. But if he follows his pattern from this basho, win 2, lose 1, he will lost on day 10.
Nishikigi vs Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu’s biggest impediment seems to be consistency. It’s tough to know how genki he will be on any given day. I am beginning to suspect Nishikigi has adopted a Kagayaki style approach. He is not going to make waves, or really do anything to get noticed, but he’s quietly going to keep plugging away at his sumo.
Abi vs Takakeisho – This match may turn out to be lighting in a bottle. At least that is what I am hoping as we have two very dynamic oshi-zumo types with very specific and unique styles going head to head. To make things even more enticing, this is their first ever match. So will the head of the Freshmen be able to stand up to the Tadpole? Long reach or wave action? I can’t wait to find out.
Endo vs Chiyonokuni – I have absolute confidence that short of injury, Endo will get his kachi-koshi this tournament. If he can run up his score, we may see him in san’yaku. But today’s match is all about if Endo will pose a credible claim to the yusho going into act 3. They have spit their career series 3-3. This will likely be a really good match.
Shodai vs Ikioi – Shodai is clearly discouraged, disrupted and disorganized now. So he is probably easy pickings for Ikioi, who could use the wins. If Shodai loses he is make-koshi.
Tamawashi vs Kotoshogiku – Tamawashi is a master of strong oshi, and Kotoshogiku is almost exclusively yotsu. So this match will have obvious interests for fans who want to see the clash of two opposing styles. Tamawashi holds a slight numerical edge in their career series (9-7), but Kotoshogiku has not won against Tamawashi since May of 2017, so 5 consecutive losses.
Ichinojo vs Yoshikaze – If I had to rank genki on every rikishi in the top division, these two might come out on the bottom. So they get to face off on day 10. Where this goes, who can tell.
Kagayaki vs Mitakeumi – This win would make Mitakeumi’s first double digit winning score in san’yaku, and would represent the start of a possible Ozeki bid. This is also a huge mental test for Mitakeumi. If he can stay in his groove, this is an easy match. If he is off his sumo, Kagayaki will be a stiff challenge. Mitakeumi won their only prior match.
Goeido vs Shohozan – Shohozan has make-koshi on the line today, and he has a chance to stave off demotion by beating Goeido. Which Goeido will show up on day 10?
Kaisei vs Takayasu – This should be an easy match for Takayasu, Kaisei is enormous, but not in the same class of sumo as Takayasu.