The biggest change in the leaderboard is due to the blistering attack Mitakeumi applied to the undefeated Hakuho to finally put dirt on the Yokozuna. Few expected that the “King Tadpole” would come back from kyujo, and many groaned when the schedulers fed this less than genki rikishi to the dai-Yokozuna. But Mitakeumi came to win, and he surprised Hakuho with some really top notch oshi-zumo. It is seldom we get to see Hakuho put in a situation where he does not have enough time or dohyo real estate to react, so savor the moment.
As a result the yusho race has taken on a bit of a wider set of possible outcomes. Now the rather genki Tamawashi is just 1 win behind, and he meets Hakuho head-to-head on day 12. A Tamawashi win would bring him even with the Yokozuna, and it would unleash a mad cap barnyard brawl to senshuraku. Waiting just in the wings is the very capable Ozeki hopeful Takakeisho, who showed impressive persistence and fighting spirit against Hokutofuji. If I had to guess, we will see Takakeisho face Hakuho day 13.
Hunt Group: Takakeisho, Kaisei, Endo
4 Matches Remain
4 thoughts on “Hatsu Leaderboard Day 12”
Not sure what happened to Hakuho. It wasn’t so muc Mitakeumi, Hakuho was just slowly walking backwards out of the ring. I watched this fight a few times, but just can’t see, why he went out without any resistance. Did he think it was a matta? Anyways, makes the tournament interesting.
Enho today …. I hope he can come back from THAT experience …
I kinda feel like it was a combo of two things:
1) Not wanting to be the guy who ends someone’s career/cripples them.
2) Not thinking he had to do much to win, so he went a little soft to save his own energy and to avoid injuring himself. GOAT or not dude is 33 and with 11 years as a Yokozuna, fighting the best of the best for all that time has to have taken an amazing toll on his body.
I too think he had an off day mentally. Not expecting much resistance, but then getting his tachiai completely denied. Not prepared for a pan B he found his inner Ichinojo and just walked out with relatively little resistance. I mean who of us wouldn’t have been surprised by Mitakeumi actually being able to walk by himself ;)
I’m remembering Hatsu last year where Mitakumi blew a rikshi out of the water and specifically said in the interview afterwards that he did it to help Tochinoshin win. Maybe this time he was just THAT FREAKING DETERMINED to re-open the yusho race ;p And/or Hakuho got too complacent. I normally wouldn’t accuse the Dai-Yokozuna of that, but I think his age is catching up with him, including in his stamina, and that temptation to complacency may be getting stronger. It was probably slight, but enough for Mitakeumi.
Or we’re aaaaaaall overthinking this, for justified reasons XD