No commentary this morning, straight to the matches!
Takagenji defeats Tokushoryu – Takagenji looked solid today in his 11th win of the tournament, using a combination of oshi and yotzu techniques to shut down Tokushoryu. Takagenji is running away with Juryo yusho, and will make his Makuuchi debut in July.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Yago – Yago was controlling this match until he tried to pull Terutsuyoshi down by the neck. Given the size difference and how the mechanics would work, a pull down against a much shorter opponent was foolish. Bad habits I suppose.
Sadanoumi defeats Shohozan – When Sadanoumi can get into his offense immediately at the tachiai, he tends to win. Shohozan knew he had trouble, and tried to pivot into a throw, but could not follow through.
Daishoho defeats Kagayaki – I am not sure what is plaguing Kagayaki, but he’s running the risk of resetting to Juryo. Daishoho had him beat in foot placement, body placement and grip. Daishoho is one win away from a kachi-koshi.
Onosho defeats Enho – Enho took Onosho on face to face, and found that while Onosho may over-commit, when you are in front of him, that can work to his advantage.
Chiyomaru defeats Tomokaze – Tomokaze inching closer to his first make-koshi (it’s ok, everyone gets them in the top division). Chiyomaru keeps Tomozake in front of him, and keeps his thrusting attack running well.
Shodai defeats Tochiozan – Look at Shodai’s stance as Tochiozan is working on pulling him down, that is some solid sumo foot work. Tochiozan decided he was going to try to pull Shodai down twice, each time giving up about ⅓ of the dohyo, and he found himself at the bales, off balance and in trouble. Shodai had the sumo sense to give him enough of a shove to send him out. Shodai is now kachi-koshi.
Yoshikaze defeats Ishiura – I like Yoshikaze’s tachiai in this match, he stands up kind of slowly, keeping his eye on Ishiura the whole time. Ishiura seems to lose whatever battle plan he might have, and Yoshikaze slaps him around for his troubles.
Myogiryu defeats Nishikigi – Nishikigi picks up make-koshi, after getting Myogiryu in the double arm lock that Nishikigi prefers. Twice Nishikigi tried to pivot into a throw, but Myogiryu was just too stable to get rolled.
Okinoumi defeats Kotoeko – I again call readers attention to Okinoumi’s foot work. Foot placement is the primary sumo defense mechanism, and Okinoumi’s foot movement is quiet, controlled and deliberate compared to Kotoeko jumping about.
Tamawashi defeats Asanoyama – We knew this was coming, Tamawashi drives inside and keeps thrusting against center-mass. Asanoyama’s got excellent defensive foot placement, but there is just too much power behind Tamawashi’s sumo, and Asanoyama goes back, back, and out. Tamawashi is kachi-koshi while Asanoyama gives up sole possession of yusho race leadership.
Endo defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji’s attempt to pull early in the match opened the door and Endo walked right through, getting inside, then a left hand inside, then morozashi. Hokutofuji gave it his all, but Endo had is “good” sumo on today.
Kotoshogiku defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu’s canon-ball tachiai seemed to only have half power today, and Kotoshogiku took the hit and got his double inside grip. Advancing, he did not engage the hug-n-chug, but rather loaded a tsukiotoshi, and rolled Chiyotairyu to the clay. Kotoshogiku’s experience may carry him to 7 or 8 wins in the final days, when some others are running out of focus or stamina.
Mitakeumi defeats Daieisho – Mitakeumi swithces back to the burgundy mawashi after a bad run in the burt orange one, and his sumo has returned to a better form, too. Now one win from kachi-koshi and a likely return to Sekiwake.
Ichinojo defeats Aoiyama – A strength battle with a combined 400 kg or so on the dohyo. For us Americans, thats 900 pounds of rikishi battling it out. This quickly turned into a mawashi battle, and I am pleased to say that Aoiyama recused himself well, but there was just too much Ichinojo to move, to toss or to pull down. Great match today from the Boulder.
Meisei defeats Tochinoshin – Many fans expected Tochinoshin to pick up #10 today, but Meisei got Tochinoshin’s balance shifted to his heels at the tachiai, and just kept driving forward. The last 2 days we have not seen Tochinoshin generate much in the way of forward pressure, has he re-injured that foot?
Abi defeats Takayasu – Exact same recipe used against Tochinoshin on day 11, Abi uses Takayasu’s shoulder blast as the energy source to raise him up and slap him down. The look on Abi’s face when presented with that pile of kensho is priceless.
Goeido defeats Takarafuji – As expected, Takarafuji gave a very technical, workman like match to Goeido, but Goeido did not lose his patience today, and masterfully controlled Takarafuji in nearly every facet of this match.
Kakuryu defeats Ryuden – After some crummy sumo day 11, we see some strong, powerful work from the Yokozuna today. That right hand grip is nearly perfect, and Kakuryu’s foot placement was exactly right. Not that Ryuden’s form was poor today, just that Kakuryu was excellent.
At the end of day 12, Kakuryu and Asanoyama share the lead in the yusho race with 10-2, with Tochinoshin one loss behind.