lksumo already created a sterling post that details the storylines going into the final weekend of the Aki basho. There are a handful of high-interest matches for Friday, day 13 that I just wanted to comment on. Apologies if your favorite match is not listed here. So here we go!
What We Are Watching Day 13
Hoshoryu vs Ishiura – A first time match between smaller rikish, and Hoshoryu has make-koshi on the line. The best he can home for now is a day 15 Darwin match, which would be a fascinating shame. Ishiura is injured, so he may be an easy mark.
Enho vs Meisei – Enho’s sumo battery is reading 20%, and it’s been part of why I have found the third act of Aki a bit of a bummer. Some rikishi I really love to watch are on fumes, and not fighting at all well. On the positive side, a Meisei win would be kachi-koshi for him.
Tokushoryu vs Chiyotairyu – Loser is make-koshi. They both have matching 5-7 records, and a career record of 5-7 – with a 2 match advantage for Chiyotairyu.
Kotoeko vs Aoiyama – A win today is kachi-koshi for Aoiyama, he won their only prior encounter, and given that Kotoeko is not fighting well right now, it could be short and brutal. A loss today by Kotoeko is make-koshi for him.
Onosho vs Takarafuji – Their 10 prior bouts are split 5-5, and I am keen to see what a genki Onosho can do with Takarafuji’s defense today.
Kagayaki vs Tochinoshin – Part of me wants to see Kagayaki hand Tochinoshin his make-koshi, as he has been less than awesome this tournament. But Kagayaki is not genki himself, so lord knows how this one is going go. Their last match was in Osaka, when Tochinoshin slapped Kagayaki down.
Myogiryu vs Tamawashi – Loser make-koshi. Work it out guys!
Tobizaru vs Takanosho – Tobizaru has not beaten Takanosho in 5 attempts, but I think this is Tobizaru’s best sumo ever. Takanosho can do his stable make Takakeisho a huge favor and take the flying monkey down for a loss, knocking him out of the leader group. This one will be quite intense, I predict.
Terunofuji vs Wakatakakage – Both are already kachi-koshi, so they are fighting to determine promotion velocity. For Terunofuji, its about where he may end up in San’yaku, for Wakatakakage, I hope he does not end up over-promoted.
Shodai vs Takakeisho – Time to open the good stuff. A top of the banzuke show down between two co-leaders in the yusho arasoi. They have 11 prior matches, with Takakeisho holding a 7-4 lead. But worth noting – Shodai has won the last two (Hatsu and Osaka). Its going to come down to the first step, and I expect that Takakeisho is going to drive inside hard, perhaps too hard. If he can get a solid connection to Shodai’s chest, he can control the match. But I expect Shodai is ready for that, and I think we may see deflection from him and an attempt to use his superior balance and size to control the defensive aspect of the match. The winner of this match is going to be the yusho favorite, at least until tomorrow.
Asanoyama vs Mitakeumi – Not to be sold short, this match has a lot at stake. Mitakeumi needs to “win out” if he wants to reach double digits and keep any hope of his 4th or 5th Ozeki attempt alive. A win today by Asanoyama would give him a narrow but workable chance to challenge for the cup in the final days. Great end to day 13 with two solid, high stakes battles.