All of the story lines advanced by 1 win today, as the entire top division marched on toward tomorrow’s close of act 2, and the start of the final run to the cup on Sunday. Terunofuji now needs 3 wins to seal the deal for Ozeki, and Team Tachiai expect that he can win at least half of his 3 remaining matches if he does not come up injured. Kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho needs 2 more wins to clear kadoban. Word on sumo Twitter is that he injured a thumb in his match against Mitakeumi, and everyone hopes he can plow through that injury to win 2 more out of the final 6 matches. Yusho race leader Takayasu also won today against Onosho, and remains in sole possession of the lead at 8-1.
Hidenoumi defeats Daishomaru – It was not much of a contest, with Daishomaru going down like a “sack of taters” after a brief struggle at the tachiai. Hidenoumi improves to 5-6.
Tsurugisho defeats Kotoeko – I am beging to think Tsurugisho is going to break out and rally going into the second week. Kachi-koshi is still possible, but he’s got to win most of his remaining matches. Tsurugisho rocked Kotoeko at the tachiai, and immediately pulled him down for win number 4.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Chiyoshoma – Excellent tachiai from Terutsuyoshi, and he immediately began a slow spiral that pulled Chiyoshoma to the clay. Terutsuyoshi improves to 6-3.
Aoiyama defeats Akiseyama – Two giant men a slapp’n and a whollop’n each other for a spell, then the bigger one done grab the other’s belt and a’run the other’n out a town! YEE HA! Aoiyama improves to 5-4.
Yutakayama defeats Chiyotairyu – Woa, that was unexpected. Maybe I was lulled by Yutakayama’s poor start, but i do believe he has decided he’s going to plow through whatever problems he has and fight with everything he needs to win each day. Now up to 4-5 after laying on volley after volley against Chiyotairyu.
Midorifuji defeats Daiamami – Daiamami had Midorifuji on the run in reverse gear, and somehow Midorifuji uncorked a kainahineri in that mess. Both end the day 4-5.
Kaisei defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki overpowering effort to drive a hand inside Kaisei’s defensive hand placement unbalanced him, and a quick shove from above sent Kagayaki to the clay. Kaisei improves to 5-4.
Ryuden defeats Tochinoshin – Ryuden got a right hand inside at the tachiai, and rode it all the way to a win. Tochinoshin was fighting like mad to break that grip, and I bet Ryuden’s arm was sort tonight. Ryuden improves to 4-5 with a painful looking yorikiri.
Hoshoryu defeats Ichinojo – Ichinojo’s gambit at the tachiai to land a left hand outside grip failed, and I think that set up the loss. Hoshoryu found his mark with a right hand inside, and took control of the match. Both end the day 5-4.
Chiyonokuni defeats Tamawashi – Chiyonokuni’s hit and shift tachiai left Tamawashi atypically off balance, and Chiyonokuni wisely did not give him two steps to recover. Down goes Tamawashi with a hikiotoshi, and Chiyonokuni joins the 7-2 club.
Tobizaru defeats Okinoumi – Great example of Tobizaru’s hit and move offensive style. Okinoumi found it tough to focus his attacks on center-mass, as Tobizaru was forever in motion. Over time he worked Okinoumi to be progressively more off balance, and finished him with a hikiotoshi to improve to 6-3.
Endo defeats Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka seems robbed of his sumo, as he gets behind Endo, but can’t do anything to use it to his advantage. He ends up chest to chest with Endo, which is usually right where he wants you to be. Endo improves to 5-4.
Wakatakakage defeats Meisei – Wow, strong attack from Wakatakakage today, driving with power and good body position against center mass. Meisei can’t find a way to deflect any of it, and takes the express over the tawara. Both end the day at 5-4.
Hokutofuji defeats Takarafuji – As predicted, it was Hokutofuji who supplied the make-koshi match for Takarafuji. Takarafuji put up a competent defense for a time, but Hokutofuji kept up the pressure and drove him from the ring. Hokutofuji improves to 6-3, and Takarafuji make-koshi at 1-8.
Takayasu defeats Onosho – One step behind Takarafuji on the make-koshi train is Onosho, who can’t seem to find his balance this March. After a strong open, Onosho lost his footing, and Takayasu never let him get it back. Takayasu improves to 8-1, is kachi-koshi, and in sole possession of the lead.
Takanosho defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama attempted some manner of face-focused opening combo, and that left his body wide open for Takanosho to press the attack. Left without an effective defense, it was a fast run to the border for Kiribayama. Takanosho improves to 6-3.
Terunofuji defeats Myogiryu – The kaiju train shall not be stopped, it shall not be derailed. Terunofuji established the kimedashi by the third step, and everyone knew that Myogiryu was headed out in a hurry. Terunofuji improves to 7-2.
Asanoyama defeats Shimanoumi – Fast, hard and powerful tachiai from Asanoyama today, Shimanoumi had no answer at all, and was quickly moved over the bails. Asanoyama improves to 6-3.
Daieisho defeats Shodai – The Daieisho rally gains strength, as he drives his arms into Shodai and puts him out before Shodai can really try to counter attack. Thats 3 in a row now for Daieisho, and both end the day 4-5.
Takakeisho defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi could not prevent Takakeisho from getting his hands inside. Once the Grand tadpole had locked into Mitakeumi’s center mass, he was time for the wave action tsuppari. It only took a moment to accelerate Mitakeumi up to the point where he had nowhere to go but out. Takakeisho improves to 6-3.