Some great sumo from the smaller rikishi today. Ishiura and Terutsuyoshi seem to have hit their stride, and are causing their opponents real challenges figuring what, if anything, they can do to overcome their sumo. It’s fun to watch, and will make for some fantastic sumo during the deepening transition era going into 2020. With Asanoyama’s loss and Hakuho’s win today, the yusho is almost certainly going to Hakuho. This would mark his 43rd yusho, further running up the score into territory that will make future generations question the accuracy of the statistics.
Daishoho defeats Yago – Yago has no ability to generate any forward pressure, so I would say the big fellow is nursing an injury. Maybe those taped up knees are some indication. But it seems clear that Oguruma will be without a Sekitori in competition in January. Quite a shame as they are had 2 promising young rikishi in Yago and Tomokaze, both of which are injured.
Ishiura defeats Kagayaki – New-mode Ishiura completely overwhelmed Mr Fundamentals today with flurries of combo attacks that kept the bigger rikishi off plan. From the time Ishiura got his mawashi hold, Kagayaki was little more than ballast for whatever Ishiura wanted to use to win. Ishiura improves to 7-5 with another unusual kimarite: kirikaeshi.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Chiyotairyu – Win #2 for team tiny, this time Terutsuyoshi pops at the tachiai and dives for a deep left hand grip. He takes the much larger Chiyotairyu to his chest, and attacks with surprising strength and vigor. Chiyotairyu attempts to roll into a throw as Terutsuyoshi is powering him out, but Terutsuyoshi collapses the pivot for the win. Wow!
Shodai defeats Daishomaru – In spite of Shodai’s weak tachiai, Daishomaru can’t generate much if any forward pressure against Shodai, and goes down to his 8th defeat. Now make-koshi, he joins stablemate Daishoho waiting to see if he is relegated back to Juryo to start 2020.
Kotoshogiku defeats Nishikigi – Seemingly eager to muscle the Diasho pair out of line for the Juryo barge, Nishikigi takes his 9th loss as Kotoshogiku somehow musters enough strength to employ a fairly low energy version of his trademark attack.
Shohozan defeats Shimanoumi – Shohozan landed a deep right hand grip shortly after his face-slap tachiai. From there he activated the spin cycle and gave Shimanoumi a toss to the dohyo. The home town crowd loves it, and so do I. Shimanoumi picks up his 8th loss, and is make-koshi.
Chiyomaru defeats Sadanoumi – Chiyomaru takes Sadanoumi and marches forward like he’s late for the chanko line at Kokonoe heya. Chiyomaru gets his 8th win and is kachi-koshi for November.
Onosho defeats Yutakayama – These two oshi-rikishi go chest to chest, and it’s Yutakayama who seems to dominate. But with his heels on the tawara, Onosho does a weight shift via his feet that I am still trying to figure out, and pivots to fall forward, crushing Yutakayama beneath him. 2 more to go for Onosho, 1 more to go for Yutakayama.
Takanosho defeats Enho – Enho executes his submarine tachiai, and latches onto the front of Takanosho’s mawashi, but Takanosho thinks it through and pauses. Re-engaging he pivots and pushes down, sending Enho to the clay. Great recovery from Takanosho today.
Aoiyama defeats Tsurugisho – Traditional Aoiyama match, stand them up, then thrust them down. Tsurugisho struggling to maintain energy in his sumo as we near the end of the tournament. He’s now one loss from make-koshi.
Takarafuji defeats Kotoeko – Complex dance for grip as the two are chest to chest from the tachiai. This is a poor game to play with Takarafuji, who seems to be effective no matter where his hands end up. Takarafuji keeps his focus, and keeps moving Kotoeko toward the bales. Kotoeko picks up his 8th loss and is now make-koshi for November.
Kotoyuki defeats Daieisho – These two are very evenly matched, and both of them brought a lot of energy to an their thrusting attacks. When Daieisho lunged to finish Kotoyuki, Kotoyuki deftly moved to his right, and Daieisho met nothing but clay at the end of his charge.
Myogiryu defeats Okinoumi – Myogiryu had the better of the tachiai, and the match transitioned into a fierce chest to chest battle for control. Okinoumi rallied several times, but could not overcome Myogiryu’s inside grip.
Hokutofuji defeats Meisei – A wild, frantic match, as many of Hokutofuji’s bouts are. The combatants broke contact multiple times, to slam into each other again and again. Nobody had superior balance or position, it was a straight up brawl that was nearly a Meisei victory. But somehow Hokutofuji kept his feet, and was able to spin away, return and catch Meisei over extended, and thrust him down.
Abi defeats Tamawashi – I am not sure what kind of battle plan Tamawashi had for this match, but it seems to have not fired off correctly. Abi took control early, and drove the match in the manner he wanted. Tamawashi could really only muster one solid counter attack, but Abi broke contact, and re-engaged in full Abi-zumo mode.
Mitakeumi defeats Asanoyama – Asanoyama could not land his favored left hand grip, and was maybe surprised by the vigor Mitakeumi brought to the match today. Clearly the Sekiwake has some power left, and he’s going to push to hold onto his rank a bit longer. With his loss, Asanoyama drops away from any credible yusho contention.
Ryuden defeats Takakeisho – Rather crummy henka today, as I was hoping to see Ryuden use actual sumo to possibly beat the sole Ozeki in good standing in the sumo world today. It would have been a function of Ryuden getting that left hand on Takakeisho’s mawashi and going to work. But instead we got this dud. Oh well.
Hakuho defeats Endo – Kind of crappy sumo from Hakuho today. The face slap is annoying, but that’s Hakuho. That forearm to the jaw is another matter all together. Is it legit in sumo? Yes, it is. But honestly, it’s probably a bit huge given that he can beat Endo without using a combo that has a high change of injury. With his win, Hakuho is now 2 wins in front of the closest pursuit for the yusho, and has likely Locked up #43.