Hatsu Day 14 Highlights

Photo from the Sumo Association twitter feed

The big story of day 14 is the Hakuho kyujo. The reason cited was a hematoma in the right knee and problems with the left foot. Hakuho also mentioned that problems began following his day 4 match with Hokutofuji, that featured some gymnastics on the tawara, and that the trouble has been steadily increasing. It is reported that the pain and discomfort had increased to where he could no longer sleep at night, and it was decided that he would withdraw from competition. All of that and he still had 10 wins.

Both yusho contenders won their day 14 matches, so it’s Tamawashi’s cup to take if he can win his final day match. Of course the sumo world wants to see an oshi-mega-match between Takakeisho and Tamawashi (Takakeisho beat him day 3) for the Emperor’s Cup, but the chances of that happening are not high.

Speaking of the Tadpole, with his 11th win day 14, he has a valid application to become Ozeki. We will find out next week if it will be accepted, or if the NSK will suggest that he do well in one more basho.

Highlight Matches (abbreviated)

Takarafuji defeats Daiamami – First kachi-koshi in a year, and the struggling Daiamami made him work for it. But after some truly pitiful performances in 2018, it’s good to see him back on the winning side.

Kaisei defeats Yago – Kaisei hits double digits, and will face Ozeki Takaysu on day 15.

Daieisho defeats Yutakayama – Daieisho picks up his 3rd consecutive kachi-koshi while dealing Yutakayama his 3rd consecutive make-koshi. The symmetry is lovely, unless you are Yutakayama.

Abi defeats Shohozan – Abi hits double digits, and he’s still working the same formula. Maybe that’s all we get from Abi.

Hokutofuji defeats Nishikigi – Hokutofuji locks in his kachi-koshi in this match that featured a good start, but Nishikigi lost traction, and fell for his 8th loss.

Endo defeats Tochiozan – Endo hits double digits, and will be the rikishi who has the task of trying to throw the yusho into an elimination match when he takes on Tamawashi on day 15.

Onosho defeats Ichinojo – Onosho still looks kind of shaky, and I am hoping he will continue to heal and strengthen heading into March. Onosho kachi koshi / Ichinojo make koshi.

Chiyotairyu defeats Myogiryu – The human cannonball racks up his 8th win for his first kachi koshi in 3 tournaments. Komusubi Myogiryu headed back to the rank and file for Osaka.

Takakeisho defeats Okinoumi – The magic 11th win, and our tadpole qualifies to be considered for Ozeki. But the right conditions on day 15 could also see him contest for the Hatsu yusho. A win day 15 would underscore his Ozeki bid, and he needs to win against Goeido to do it. Goeido has physical issues right now, but he had day 14 to rest with the fusen win over Hakuho, and he’s been looking strong and fast in week 2.

Takayasu defeats Mitakeumi – Takayasu knew exactly what to do, and I can’t compliment him enough for quickly, efficiently and with minimal pressure getting Mitakeumi moving backward and over the bales. With any luck this will convinces Mitakeumi to not risk further damage to his knee.

Onward to senshuraku! Let’s see the Sekiwake fight for the cup!

14 thoughts on “Hatsu Day 14 Highlights

  1. I’m assuming that Abi is watching Takakeisho use “one trick” to be successful and is using his own to keep a higher rank. I won’t rule out Abi using different styles of sumo in the future, but if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.

    It’s not an official basho without a henka from Chiyoshoma. That one was a doozy.

    I am also suspicious about Goeido’s sumo tomorrow. I don’t think he’d henka Takakeisho, but…

    Lastly, I am happy for Takarafuji and Chiyotairu! It’s good to see positive results for both of them.

  2. The November rose is set to bloom. Come on Baker Tam, bake me a banana cake of bash, a souffle of shove, a teacake of triumph and the Victoria Sponge of victory.

  3. I can imagine Kataonami Oyakata’s headache. Here he has a heya with only three active wrestlers, basically one sekitori and two tsukebito, and suddenly he needs to find budget for a huge sea bream?

    And what happens if Tamawashi decides to keep winning and go on an ozeki run? There aren’t enough tsukebito for an ozeki in that heya. He’ll have to run around borrowing from other heya.

    (Interestingly, in addition to Kataonami oyakata, two other oyakata belong to that heya. That is, there is basically a personal coach for each wrestler.)

    • How does that work, when a sekitori has a tsukebito from another stable? Do they show up at the sekitori’s heya to assist with his chores? Or are they more or less for jungyo and honbasho? I’ve been wondering about the logistics of this for a while now.

      • This is something I still need to figure out myself, as the most prominent example – Kakuryu – is also a very reclusive one and doesn’t really have a beat reporter who documents his every move like Hakuho does.

        I think that what happens is that they have a couple from the heya itself, and all the others come along when they are needed for special duties (e.g. tying a Yokozuna’s rope or carrying around his akeni). But again, I’ll need to check this.

  4. 1) I wonder if a Tamawashi yusho would help bring more wrestlers into that stable, and 2) At this point, if Abi-zumo isn’t being shut down, that’s not Abi’s fault. It’s his opponents’ job to thwart that. Should Abi diversify before that happens? Yes, but there’s limited incentive right now for him to do so.

    • I would suspect that winning a yusho would definitely raise the profile of the stable. It’s similar to colleges in the U.S. that win football titles getting more attention from quality high school recruits.

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