The big news of the day is Abi having dinner after yesterday’s bout, violating the current Covid rules. Ass a consequence, he has been grounded in his heya, and was handed a fusen loss. He’ll stay kyujo until the Covid test results come back.
Kyokushuho v Chiyomaru. Finally a first win for His Roundness! Kyokushuho did not much to avoid Maru’s favorite pushing contest and that’s an easy win. Chiyomaru even gets the luxury of being credited of an unusual (for him) yorikiri win.
Wakatakakage v Terunofuji. The Fukushima born boldly goes for the Mongolian’s mawashi and drives forward. As pointed out by Herouth, this might have been part of the plan for Terunofuji, who catches his opponent in a morozashi, and has no trouble lifting him at the bails. That’s a convincing kimedashi win the Terunofuji, and Wakatakakage’s first loss in four days.
Kotoshogiku v Nishikigi. Well, what to say? That was a bit too easy for the former ozeki, who kind of produced his trademark gaburi sumo. He drove forward until Nishigiki was sent out of the dohyo. That’s a good basho for Giku, who increases to 5-2, whereas Nishikigi, 2-5, will have to quickly turn tables to avoid demotion.
Sadanoumi v Kotoyuki. Kotoyuki gets the upper hand early on, driving Sadanoumi backwards using a nodowa. Unfortunately, as this often happens to him, he is shown the door by Sadanoumi. Kotoyuki does not fall out of the ring, but quickly loses by okuridashi. That’s already his sixth loss, and for former sekiwake’s situation is already critical.
Kotoeko v Tochinoshin. Tochinoshin tries to go for the mawashi after the tachi-ai, which his opponent does not allow. The Georgian’s strength seems to prevail as he drives Kotoeko back, but eventually loses ground after a failed pulling attempt. Kotoeko seizes the opportunity to strike back, cleverly raises Tochinoshin’s center of gravity with his arms. As a result, Tochinoshin is powerless against Kotoeko’s frontal, energic sumo.
Shimanoumi v Kotoshoho. Kotoshoho initiates several thrusts after the tachi-ai, sending Shimanoumi backwards. One failed attack gives the Mie-ken born some respite, allowing him to seize Kotoshoho’s belt. But to no avail : in the ensuing yotsu battle, Kotoshoho produces a strong shitatenage with his right arm. Kotoshoho rebounds after yersterday’s first loss.
Takayasu v Myogiryu. Myogiryu uses an easy but effective strategy: targetting the former ozeki’s weak left arm. Having blocked it with his right arm, Myogiryu used a nodowa with his remaining arm. Takayasu ends up losing balance; he survives for a while but ends up losing the following scramble without too much a fight. Myogiryu’s excellent basho goes on.
Kaisei v Kotonowaka. A day to forget for Kotonowaka, whose strategy was a question mark in this bout. He quickly gets pushed out by the imposing Kaisei. That’s a welcome win for Kaisei, after a couple unlucky loses. Kotonowaka has now lost three of his last four bouts.
Shohozan v Ikioi. A fierce battle between two experiences rikishi. Shohozan sends the first blows, but Ikioi avoids the thrusts and Shohozan eventually loses balance on two occasions. Both times, Shohozan recovers in time and both rikishi reunite in the middle of the dohyo. Shohozan eventually sees an opportunity, and breaches Ikioi’s defence with an oshidashi win.
Chiyotairyu v Tokoshoryu. Chiyotairyu quickly goes for his opponent’s throat, but Tokoshoryu efficiently turns tables with his right hand. It proved sufficient to quickly drive Chiyotairyu to the edge. Tokoshoryu finished the job with a few pushes. Oshidashi win.
Ishiura v Ryuden. I firstly thought of a henka. But Ishiura goes frontal, tries to work on Ryuden’s belt, sitting low. But Ryuden breaches his opponent’s defences, seizes his mawashi by the side, and he is the one performing a death spin on the Miyagino resident. He concludes with a clean uwatenage. Quite a paradoxical bout!
Enho v Tamawashi. Enho produces yet another unusual tachi-ai, staying on his feet and waiting for the Mongolian to come. He ends up under Tamawashi’s chest. The former sekiwake tries to pull him down, then a kotenage, but Enho somehow keeps his balance thanks to his trademark agility. Tamawashi’s defences fade as he seeks his way to victory, and ends up being send out of the dohyo. Classic Enho!
Terutsuyoshi v Hokutofuji. Hokutofuji catches Terutsuyoshi at his own game, shifting to the side after the tachi-ai and powerfully driving him back. At the edge, Terutsuyochi remarkably performs an amiuchi. As a results, the pixie flies out of the dohyo, but Hokutofuji lands first. The gyoji awards the Isegahama man the win, and a mono-ii logically materializes. Former Asahifuji, now Isegahama oyakata, announces gumbai dori: a much needed win for his protégé.
Takanosho v Onosho. Takanosho botches the tachi-ai and sees Onosho straight at him. But the former komusubi looks out of confidence and does not manage to push back Takanosho by any means. That’s a quick oshidashi win for Takanosho, now 4-3. Onosho is yet to win.
Endo v Yutakayama. These two hold terrible records: apart from Endo’s initial win against Kakuryu, their scoresheets only contain black stars. Endo wins the tachi-ai, staying firmly on his legs and driving Yutakayama backwards. His opponent has to lean forward to avoid being driven out, an dit ends up with a welcome hatakikomi win for Endo. Yutakayama looked distraught after that loss.
Daieisho v Okinoumi. The komusubi battle, both fa ring decently at 3-3. Daieisho cannot send Okinoumi backwards at the tachi-ai. As a result, a yotsu battle takes places, which favours Okinoumi’s sumo. Curiously enough, Daieisho is the first to seize his opponent’s mawashi, as Okinoumi cannot do the same. And that’s Daieisho twenty second yorikiri win of his career!
Abi v Mitakeumi. Fusen win for Mitakeumi, now 7-0. He is more than ever in the yusho race, and will prepare tomorrow’s sekiwake battle.
Shodai v Aoiyama. This is weird stuff from… the gyoji. He asked Kiribayama to move his hands behind the marks yesterday, but did not ask the same to Aoiyama, who did the same… Anyway, Shodai is slow at the tachi-ai yet again, and quickly has to face his strong opponent. Aoiyama pushes hard, and it’s impossible to say how Shodai stays on the dohyo… Aoiyama insists, and the inevitable comes: Shodai finds a quarter second to recover and shows the Bulgarian the door. A hard fought tsukiotoshi win for Shodai, who stays one off the pace.
Takarafuji v Asanoyama. Takarafuji, a solid yotsu wrestler, was promised a hard time facing the strong ozeki. Asanoyama drives forward, stays on his feet despite Takarafuji’s tricky shifts, and cleanly wins by yorikiri. He stays undefeated, while Takarafuji sees his fifth loss of the basho.
Takakeisho v Kagayaki. Takakeisho has not been taken out of his comfort zone at all. Some pushes exchanges saw the ozeki staying calm on his feet. Takakeisho shifts to his left, and Kagayaki falls to the clay. Three more wins, and the ozeki erases his kadoban status.
Hakuho v Kiribayama. For his first musubi no ichiban, Kiribayama quite understandably looked a bit nervous. He was caught napping by Hakuho at the tachi-ai. Curiously, neither the yokozuna’s attempted face slap, nor the attempted shoulder blast worked, as Kiribayama was still in his bed. Anyway, in the blink of an eye, the yokozuna wins by yorikiri. Hopefully, tomorrow will allow Kiribayama to settle down more conveniently. I twill be quite a challenge, though, as he will face another Miyagino resident, namely Enho.