On day 2 the lower division did not disappoint, with some fantastic and interesting matches. I will note that Wakaichiro lost his first match of the Natsu basho. In a surprising tactic, he went chest to chest with Miyakogawa, which is the format that Miyakogawa prefers. To his credit, Wakaichiro showed a lot of fighting spirit, and some impressive strength, lifting and swinging Miyakogawa multiple times. But Miyakogawa was very stable, and was able to keep on his feet, eventually finding and exploiting an opening to take the match.
In Sandanme, Terunofuji won his first match, and looks to be in somewhat improved physical condition from Osaka. He made quick and easy work of Daishomune, and will move on to the 1-0 bracket. Roga did not fare as well, and suffered his first ever loss as a professional rikishi, dropping his match to Hokutotsubasa.
In Makushita, Midorifuji showed Nogami some really fabulous sumo to win his first match, Naya racked up his first win, and Hoshoryu prevailed against Tamaki.
Day 3 Matches
Ichiyamamoto vs Fujiazuma – After his day 2 loss, Ichiyamamoto will look for his first win against former Maegashira Fujiazuma. While some may wonder how Ichiyamamoto is drawing such tough opponents, the upper brackets of Makushita are thick with former top division rikishi who are seeking a way back to the salaried ranks.
Hoshoryu vs Jokoryu – Yes, that Jokoryu, who has lost his paid rank and is now down in Makushita battling 12 other high energy rikishi looking to climb the ladder back to Sekitori status. As some are starting to think about how Hoshoryu might fare in juryo, this will be an excellent test.
Midorifuji vs Akua – Oh yes, two of our “Ones to Watch” competing head to head! We expect that this will be a solid match, as Midorifuji probably holds a speed and energy advantage, and Akua has the edge in size and experience.
Wakaichiro vs Taketsukasa – After a hard fought day 2 opening match, Wakaichiro gets his next shot at his first win of Natsu against young Taketsukasa, from Irumagawa heya. Taketsukasa is only in his 7th basho as a professional rikishi, and has been as high as Sandanme 93.
Kitanowaka vs Tokisakae – Kitanowaka’s first match (day 1) was a completely lopsided event, and I am going to guess we will see more of that on day 3, as 120kg Tokisakae has the misfortune of drawing a match with Kitanowaka.
2 thoughts on “Natsu Day 3 – Ones To Watch”
looking forward to seeing the results of a couple of these on twitter later today as i couldn’t get an alternative vpn source to work so my viewing access limited to Makuuchi only via Twitch… Midorifuji/Aqua – love them both – best rikishi win – game on! Wakaichiro ganbarre! this will be your first natsu basho win i think..
This may be the bout Wakaichiro where the belt work could pay off. Taketsukasa has nearly 71% of his wins from oshidashi. In 21 bouts decided by oshidashi, he’s won 17 of them. Of six bouts determined by yorikiri, he won 1, lost 5. He also seems a bit vulnerable to hatakikomi. I bet he’ll fight like hell to keep Ichiro off his belt and that may give him an opening.