Natsu 2022: Jonokuchi Match Day 5

Our Jonokuchi yusho race whittled down to two men today. Undefeated veteran Hitoshi took on the dynamic Yamato while ex-Takekaze’s young recruit, Kazekeno, took on Daikinryu. At the tachiai, Yamato was all over Hitoshi’s leg like an over-eager beagle. One of these days his opponent will be prepared enough to bring some rolled up newspaper, and swat him on the head. “I said, down!” In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy watching as the unsuspecting opponents scramble to free themselves. Hitoshi’s escape route, for example, took him clear off the dohyo today.

In our other yusho-race bout, Kazekeno displayed formidable strength as uprooted Daikinryu with well-purposed thrusts about the shoulders and neck. Due to an odd number of undefeated wrestlers in Sandanme, our two leaders will likely only meet on senshuraku. Kazekeno will probably face another 1-loss rikishi while Yamato would spend a day in Jonidan fighting Toseiryu.

Lastly, I did want to share an awesome rare kimarite delivered by a young recruit. Technically, these one-loss wrestlers still have a leg in the yusho race. Should both of our leaders lose in their final two matches, the 1-loss cohort may find themselves in a thrilling play-off. If that does happen, I hope Tanaka still be up there. His slam here demonstrated quite a bit of sumo knowledge and skill beyond the straight-forward oshi and yotsu usually on display. Wakasa, himself, has been a very spirited young wrestler. It should be interesting to watch both develop.


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