Kyushu Day 3 Highlights

To day was the day that many who had not won got their first white star, and several who had not lost got their first black mark. I continue to keep my eye on Abi, who is far enough down the banzuke that he is not facing any strong challenges. Should he keep his winning streak running, I am certain he will get some tough opponents in week 2. The question then will be: will his opponents be ready?

On Ozeki watch, Mitakeumi picked up his first loss today, he needs 10 wins over the remaining 12 days to return to Ozeki, and today was a match he should have won. He first let Daieisho get away from him, then chose to close the gap in a single step. But of course, he was played. I do want to see him regain his rank, but he’s going to have to remain genki into week two. Also in Ozeki watch, Shodai seems to have remembered some of his sumo, and I am happy to see it. Much as I think he should not be a slackard, I do like his sumo when he decides to employ it. Lastly, I may start using the term “Future Ozeki Wakatakakage”, as he has most certainly looked to be in Ozeki form so far this basho. He needs a strong double digit score in Kyushu and again in January to make it happen.

Highlight Matches

Hiradoumi defeats Terutsuyoshi – Its tough to watch Terutsuyoshi matches. He has no ability to withstand any amount of offensive pressure from his opponent, and Hiradoumi makes easy work of him today to end day three at 3-0. Terutsuyoshi still winless at 0-3.

Atamifuji defeats Churanoumi – It was kind of messy, but Atamifuji finally got his first win of the Kyushu basho. He spent a good deal of effort trying to get a preferred hand grip against Juryo visitor Churanoumi, but could never quite make it work. But he was moving Churanoumi back, then finished the job with a powerful shove to Churanoumi’s mid-section. Atamifuji improves to 1-2.

Azumaryu defeats Ichiyamamoto – Ichiyamamoto brought his typical sumo to the dohyo today, and was thrusting away well, but a strong forward move by Azumaryu, and a shove to re-direct an Ichiyamamoto attack to the side, took the match. Suddenly off balance, Ichiyamamoto dropped to the clay, and Azumaryu has his first win at 1-2.

Oho defeats Kagayaki – It was not fancy or glamorous, but Oho managed to get his hands inside and in contact with Kagayaki’s chest. Finding himself in control of the match, Oho wasted no time driving forward, and showing Kagayaki the exit. Both end the day at 2-1.

Okinoumi defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu employed one of his preferred match plans, a big hit to stand his opponent up, and an immediate slap down. But he and Okinoumi have fought 20 matches now, and Okinoumi knew that Chiyotairyu was going to do this, and capitalized on the fact that Chiyotairyu would be off balance, and pulled him down. That was a much needed first win for Okinoumi, and both end the day at 1-2.

Kotoeko defeats Onosho – Onosho opened with a big attack at the tachiai, which carried Kotoeko back and deposited him across the bales. In typical Onosho style, he fell forward at the moment of victory, and a monoii was called to see wether he fell or Kotoeko stepped out first. It was ruled they fell together, and a rematch was ordered. The second fight saw Kotoeko much stronger, though he borrowed Takayasu’s one leg strategy. Somehow he managed to keep moving Onosho back, and once his second foot stayed on the clay, he was able to power Onosho out for a first loss. Kotoeko improves to 2-1.

Kotoshoho defeats Chiyoshoma – Chiyoshoma to put his right hand to work, I think he was trying to reach deep or maybe go for a thigh grab. The move put him off balance to his right, and although Kotoshoho was on the defensive and moving back, the lack of pressure from Chiyoshoma’s right allowed Kotoshoho to rescue himself with a kotenage at the bales, improving to 3-0 over still winless Chiyoshoma.

Aoiyama defeats Takanosho – Aoiyama has a bit of good luck today. He battled Takanosho with a lot of upper body power, but again that left knee kept him from moving forward with force. But Takanosho decided to help out by pulling, and allowed Aoiyama to simply follow through and keep his opponent in motion. A much needed first win for Big Dan, and he’s now 1-2.

Abi defeats Tochinoshin – Bog standard Abi-zumo today. He drops Tochinoshin as the former Ozeki reaches to get a belt grip and close the gap. Abi remains unbeaten at 3-0, and I suspect that ranked this low, he will be in the yusho race this tournament.

Endo defeats Takarafuji – Endo brought his good sumo out today, even though his opponent is only partially functioning. It’s kind of painful to watch Takarafuji fight, but at least we can take come comfort that Endo got his first win today, and is 1-2. Takarafuji remains winless.

Ryuden defeats Myogiryu – Impressive defensive sumo from Ryuden today. Myogiryu came in strong and found Ryuden too stable and too strong to move. As Myogiryu dialed up the forward pressure, Ryuden found a left hand hold, and went to work. Three steps later, Myogiryu was over the bales, and Ryuden improves to 2-1.

Hokutofuji defeats Nishikigi – Excellent lower body work by Hokutofuji today as he kept Nishikigi from getting his yori set up until it was too late for Nishikigi to do much with it. With Hokutofuji able to stay low, he drove forward and put Nishikigi out of the ring with a resounding yoritaoshi. It looked like maybe yet again Hokutofuji cut his head? Was that blood? He earns his second win and is 2-1.

Sadanoumi defeats Nishikifuji – Nishikifuji opened the match with a big hit that rocked Sadanoumi on his heels. To compensate, Sadanoumi took a half step back at the moment Nishikifuji moved to take a hold. Suddenly too far forward, Sadanoumi dropped him to the clay, and both end the day at 2-1.

Wakamotoharu defeats Ura – Not happy with Wakamotoharu using an elbow to the face at the tachiai, but hey, he won right? After the blast to the face, Ura had not much in the way of sumo, and was quickly sent to visit the waiting Kiribayama ringside. Wakamotoharu up to 2-1 over the still winless Ura.

Kiribayama defeats Midorifuji – Kiribayama to be a most reliable source of vigorous sumo. Today he gave Midorifuji a long running fight, where Midorifuji tried to come under, got caught, and then Kiribayama made him hold that position for an uncomfortable length of time. Midorifuji knew the hold was not sustainable, and eventually drove forward, right into the throw. Kiribayama up to 2-1.

Tobizaru defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi is looking a shadow of his yusho form we enjoyed in September. Tobizaru took a crow hop to the side at the tachiai, caught Tamawashi from the side, and ran him off the dohyo. Fine monkey sumo there, and Tobizaru is unbeaten at 3-0 over winless Tamawashi.

Hoshoryu defeats Ichinojo – Ichinojo kept trying to pry Hoshoryu’s head off, like he was picking a single grape from a particularly stubborn bunch. While he worked on liberating Hoshoryu’s head, Hoshoryu focused on converting his deep right hand inside grip into a winning attack. Too late Ichinojo figured out he was standing upright, and moving to the rear at impressive speed. Hoshoryu dumped him into Shimpan row, and picked up his third straight win to start Kyushu 3-0.

Wakatakakage defeats Meisei – It’s great to see Wakatakakage in fighting form in act 1 instead of waiting for act 2. Meisei is clearly struggling in this match, and Wakatakakage gives him no quarter. Watch how fluid Wakatakakage is when he drives forward after bracketing Meisei. This guy is going to be Ozeki before we know it. He improves to 2-1.

Daieisho defeats Mitakeumi – Ozekiwake Mitakeumi takes his first loss, one of only five he can suffer if he wishes to return to his Ozeki rank. He was fighting well, but he allowed Daieisho to break contact, and then decided to lunge forward to re-engage. Huge mistake as Daieisho was ready, stepped to the side and put Mitakeumi on the clay. Both end the day 2-1.

Shodai defeats Kotonowaka – Shodai seems to have gotten back in touch with some of his Ozeki sumo. He was all center mass, and all forward thrust. Kotonowaka lost his patience, tried a pull, got some hair and quickly hit the exit. That’s the first time Shodai has beaten Kotonowaka, and I am glad it happened. 2-1 for Shodai now, 6 more wins to clear kadoban.

Takayasu defeats Takakeisho – Its an odd day when you can get Takakeisho off balance like that, but Takayasu made it work. A big opening hit, and a quick combo into a pull worked today, and Takakeisho picks up his first lost of the basho. Not the prettiest match, but Takayasu gets the win and both end the day 2-1.

9 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 3 Highlights

  1. Kotoeko treated Onosho like a heavy chair and kept pivoting him on his legs while he moved him backwards. A fantastic effort from him today.

    Aoiyama beat Takanosho because, in my opinion, he smacked his opponent in the face repeatedly. I’m not surprised Takanosho went for some backwards moving offense after getting clobbered in the eyes, nose, and mouth repeatedly.

    It looked to me like Sadanoumi won by “slippiotoshi” today. However, If Nishikifuji had kept his feet I’m quite sure that Sadanoumi would have won the same way.

    I think Tamawashi forgot that everyone will bring their best, cleverest sumo to the dohyo in the basho after someone has won a yusho. He was definitely caught napping today. Ay carumba!

    What I liked about Hoshoryu’s win today is he had a definite plan of attack and he stuck with it. He didn’t want to get entangled with Ichinojo unless it was on his terms. That set him up to win. Nicely done.

    Today is the perfect highlight for the problem with Takakeisho at the moment. If he can’t bull rush someone and win, he’ll get caught in the middle of it and lose. There is no inbetween.

    • I’ve heard that COVID is spreading and I have heard coughing at the venue. I imagine that is keeping fans away.

  2. I am curious about the one leg sumo Kotoeko was doing. it reminds me of Kotoshogiku. It’s like they were doing shiko, stopped at the high point, and then started to wrestle.

    How is that an advantage, physics-wise? Does it give them a faster way to pivot or rebalance, if they don’t fall down? It’s so different from the keep-your-feet-close-to-the ground advice.

    I’m terrible at all things athletic myself, so genuinely curious.


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