Hatsu Day 13 Highlights

Friday has come and gone, and we have no change in the leaderboard for Hatsu. The schedulers have made sure that Saturday will have something to say about that, they are putting both 12-1 rikishi, Tokushoryu and Shodai, head to head. More about that later today. Today’s matches were mostly about continuing to sort make-koshi and kachi-koshi rikishi. The good news is it does seem that there will several 7-7 rikishi for day 15 “Darwin” matches, which are always painful to watch. On to the highlights!

Highlight Matches

Azumaryu defeats Tsurugisho – Tsurugisho still really can’t generate any effective forward pressure with that banged up left knee. Azumaryu quickly settles in on a a grip and gives big Tsurugisho roll to the clay for the win.

Chiyotairyu defeats Tochiozan – Chiyotairyu, sumo’s thunder spirit, is on a 3 match winning streak, and maybe just might be able to find 2 more wins to finish with 8. Tochiozan’s high efficiency mode may have cost him a win today, as Chiyotairyu was able to effectively use movement and attack to overwhelm Tochiozan’s defense.

Kiribayama defeats Ishiura – Excellent Harumafuji style mini-henka today from Kiribayama. It was so well done that I had to watch it a few times just to enjoy how smoothly it flowed. To underscore the technique, Kiribayama did not so much dodge the tachiai as he dodged Ishiura’s impact, and guided his energy out of his way.

Kaisei defeats Sadanoumi – Kaisei is able to latch onto Sadanoumi at the tachiai, and once you take away Sadanoumi’s speedy footwork, he’s little more than ballast for Kaisei’s sumo.

Tokushoryu defeats Yutakayama – Readers know I am looking for big things this year from Yutakayama, but today he was Tokushoryu’s snack. Yutakayama opened strong, and was attacking when Tokushoryu pushed him aside as Yutakayama lunged forward to finish the match. Win #12 for Tokushoryu.

Chiyomaru defeats Takanosho – Takanosho failed to shut down Chiyomaru’s sumo in the opening seconds, and ended up being battered mercilessly.

Ryuden defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi had the advantage at the tachiai, but as was common in several matches today, was too far forward, too committed to pressing ahead and Ryuden shunted him to the side and down.

Ikioi defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama makes a bad turn and ends up facing away from Ikioi, and off balance. A quick shove from Ikioi and somehow he is at 6-7. If he manages to survive Hatsu, it will mark a miraculous come back from a 0-4 start.

Onosho defeats Kotoeko – Its a matta festival this match, as the two cannot seem to launch correctly. Kotoeko takes a nodowa at the tachiai, and is on the run for the rest of the match. Onosho now just one more win from kachi-koshi. Somehow.

Shodai defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki goes high at the tachiai, and at this level of genki, Shodai makes him pay almost at once by getting morozashi and backing Kagayaki to the bales. Mr Fundamentals quickly realizes that he is completely out-classed and boxed in as Shodai muscles him over the tawara for win #12.

Shimanoumi defeats Tamawashi – How does Tamawashi have 10 losses when he owns the opening 10 seconds of nearly every match? Well if today is any indicator, his balance is off due to some injury. After smashing Shimanoumi around the dohyo, suddenly Shimanoumi rallies and slaps him to the clay.

Hokutofuji defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi looked to be trying to set up some kind of pull down, with his right hand searching for the back of Hokutofuji’s neck. While he was fumbling around with that, his chest was wide open and Hokutofuji was in the process of forcing him out. Too late Mitakeumi realized he was not going to get his hand placed, and tried to fight back. 10 wins for Hokutofuji now, wow.

Kotoshogiku defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu attempts an arm grab, but loses balance and falls backward. Its good that he was not injured, as a head-first fall from the dohyo has caused problems already this basho.

Endo defeats Okinoumi – Endo finally gets his 8th win. The judges gave him a winning move of shitatehineri, but to my eye it looks more like Okinoumi just fell down. Either way, it’s a kachi-koshi for Endo, and the bidding for san’yaku slots is open. I expect lksumo is going to be puzzling this one out for some time.

Daieisho defeats Shohozan – After Daieisho tried a couple of attempts at a slap down, he focuses center-mass and starts to really move Shohozan back. Shohozan counters by going chest to chest with a left hand inside, and the two lock up and lean in for an extended period. Eventually Daieisho advances and yorikiris Shohozan out, but it was quite the long match.

Enho defeats Abi – Enho’s leg pick against Abi’s injured knee causes a leap of surprise or pain. Following that jump, Abi is easy meat and takes his 8th loss to likely drop out of San’yaku for March. Enho kachi-koshi, and who knows where he is headed.

Asanoyama defeats Takarafuji – I dare say these two really enjoyed this one. Asanoyama because he had a solid yotsu battle with someone who is good at it, and Takarafuji because he was able to get somewhere with his defend and extend sumo. Sadly Takarafuji is also now make-koshi, in spite of fighting quite well for Hatsu. Asanoyama picks up his 8th win and will stay Sekiwake 1 East for March. But I am going to guess any talk of an Ozeki bid is now on hold pending better results.

Goeido defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin is probably having knee problems again, as he immediately tries to pull, twice, from the tachiai. With no forward pressure to combat Goeido’s advance, the soon to be Ozeki relic makes short work of the relic of Tochinoshin.

Takakeisho defeats Takayasu – Takayasu delivers a forearm smash to Takakeisho’s face at the tachiai, and that really set the tone for the match. Takayasu throws the kitchen sink at the lone surviving Ozeki: pull down, face slap, nodowa but Takakiesho remains upright, but on defense. Takakeisho finally gets enough distance from Takayasu to fire up the trusting machine, and he fights back with energy. Takakeisho ends up not only pushing Takayasu out, but into the 2nd row of zabuton. Takakeisho continues to show surprising skill expansion and versatility, and picks up his 11th win. His reward, a split upper lip and a mountain of kensho.

24 thoughts on “Hatsu Day 13 Highlights

  1. I started to dislike more and more Enho’s “brand of sumo”. Today was specially ugly. I’m curious if Goeido hangs around like Kotoshogiku. In a way ozeki are in the toughest spot. They face a best of the bets just like youkozuna without the possibility of sitting out multiple tournaments.

    • I didn’t see anything ugly about it. Attacking injuried body parts in not only common, but the right strategy most of the time. Now, if his leg is so bad that he can’t have it being touched, he has no business fighting this basho.

      • Ugly or beautiful sumo is a subjective thing. So we can agree to disagree. I enjoy a nice mawashi battle, but i do not like the catch-me-if-you-can brand. I’m not saying it was illegal of fault, i just did not like it.

    • You have every right to your opinion about Enho’s sumo, but judging by the crowd reaction, you are in the minority. Sumo is the only combat sport that doesn’t have weight divisions. People have enjoyed watching the little guy beat the big guy since David beat Goliath.

    • Ugly? I don’t understand what you expect from him. Do you want a small guy NOT to play to his strengths? Do you demand of him that he tries his strength on the belt or doing oshi-sumo against rikishi that outweigh him by 60-100kg? I don’t get what you’re saying at all. What I DO know, however, is that the way Abi lost today, is a perfect reminder why I don’t like his «brand of sumo». Nothing against him as a person, he seems lovely and all sorts of fun, but his tippy-toe, no-contact-with-the-dohyo-«footwork» and chaos-like pushing attack is what lost him the match today. Not any «ugliness» on the part of Enho.

  2. I love watching Enho rampage thru the san-yaku ranks.. Nothing illegal, no henka, Little dude playing the cards he’s been dealt, I find it beautiful to watch.

    dear iksumo, could you please share your extensive knowledge here: should Shodai win tomorrow, who do you see him fight on senshuraku? If Tokushoryu wins, I am hoping for Takakeisho to be put in his way, is that realistic?

    • My guess is Endo for Shodai, and Tokushoryu might get Takakeisho either way, since even at 12-2 he wouldn’t be out of the race.

  3. Asanoyama outmuscles the neckless and is back on track again.
    Takayasu and Goeido both on fire today, there still seems to be some fighting spirit in them. I wouldn’t send them to the retirement home just yet, lets see what the future brings.

    • I agree with your observations about Goeido and Takayasu. That was some fine, fierce sumo by both of them today.

  4. Hypothetically, if Tokushoryu got the yusho, how high would he likely rise up the banzuke? The closest equivalent I can find is Takatoriki getting the yusho with 13-2 from M14e in March 2000. He went all the way up to komusubi it looks like. From what I can tell, that seems to be the lowest ranked yusho in the modern era. In 1939, Dewaminato won from M17, and also got promoted to komusubi, but I assume that is not a precedent for this basho, right?

    • I think he is definitely not taking any sanyaku spot, as there are simply too many other strong promotion candidates (Hello Shodai, Hokutofuji, Endo), there is also a kachikoshi endo an Mitakeumi could go kachikoshi too. Then you have to sort in the demoted Komusubi&Sekiwake, there are also guys like Ryuden, Yutakayama and Kagayaki, who have a good shot at staying in front of him, depending on how they finish, so realistically even a 14-1 would probably not get him higher than M3-M5. With the current results there is almost no chance of extra Sanyaku slots, unless Shodai wins and gets promoted directly to sekiwake.

  5. Obviously he’s not going to get a ton of attention this deep into an event he’s not front-running, but shout out to Kiribayama. He’s 23, in his first tournament at the top level, has a 9-4 record, and has looked pretty good to me doing it. Looks like there could be another Mongolian we’ll be seeing in the top division for a long time.

  6. We’ve now seen a series of bouts in which Tokushoryu appears to be pinned to the tawara by his opponent. At the last moment, the bulbous 33 year old shifts to the side and bats the opponent over the bales. Will Shodai have a strategy to avoid this fate?

    • One thing we have not talked about much is that Shodai is a deshi / member of Team Kakuryu. Have you seen hints of his reactive sumo this basho? I know I have!

  7. The “What the hell was that?” look Myogiru cast to Kotoshogiku after their match made me laugh. That was sumo, Son.

    Ah, Koto, if only you could have brought it a little sooner in the tournament!

    We might say the same to Goeido. The outcome isn’t a shocker, but Goeido won convincingly.

    And the way Enho hoisted 342 pounds of Abi from bent over like it was nothing! Let’s hope Abi’s leg is OK, and that no more cup marks appear on Enho’s back.

    We finished strong today, Asanoyama-takarafuji, Goeido-Tochi, Takakeisho -Takayasu, all exciting matches. What a day of Sumo!

    And I have never seen such a heap of envelopes as Takakeishi received today! Is it some kind of record?

    I’m rooting for Shodai to take the yusho, but he has to beat Taka and Toku. Can he do it?

    • I went back to count flags (re: envelopes). 3 x 12 and then one more parade (but only saw from overhead camera) and it panned away after I counted 10. So 46 for certain but possibly 48.

      • P.S. I should have mentioned, the ‘take home’ amount of 300 is USD. The precise amount depends on the exchange rate.

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