Day 13 lived up to expectations, leaving chaos and tumult in its wake. Shodai is make-koshi and will be demoted for January. Oho lost to Takayasu, leaving Takayasu as the sole leader in the yusho race with just 2 matches remaining, and an enormous cadre of sumo’s upper division are on the brink of a Darwin match orgy the likes of which not even the almighty has witnessed before. Our mischievous kami is smiling and nodding in hungry anticipation of what is to come.
Okinoumi defeats Onosho – For an ace sumo practitioner like Okinoumi, a match like this again Onosho is dead simple. He’s too far in front of his toes, and can only remain upright by leading forward into Okinoumi. Okiniumi steps to the side and pushes him down, and is now 7-6.
Chiyoshoma defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi is so hurt, he can only offer token offense, and really no defense once Chiyoshoma turns on the forward power. It’s a real shame. At least Chiyoshoma grabs Terutsuyoshi’s hand to keep him from hopping off the dohyo. Chiyoshoma improves to 6-7 while Terutsuyoshi is still on the zepai trail.
Aoiyama defeats Atamifuji – Man, what happened to Atamifuji? Aoiyama looks like he is training one of the Sandanme guys back at Kasugano. This has to be injury. Aoiyama applies a surprisingly gentle hatakikomi, and improves to 6-7.
Abi defeats Kagayaki – Best example of Abi-zumo so far this basho. He catches Kagayaki upright, and applies rapid thrust combos to work him back and out. Abi up to 10-3 and maintains his spot one behind the leader.
Tochinoshin defeats Ichiyamamoto – An unexpected and delightful match, where Ichiyamamoto eagerly initiated a yotsu-zumo fight with Tochinoshin. He managed to prevent Tochinoshin to land that left hand outside grip, and frankly had him on the defensive for most of the match. Tochinoshin took the win when he was able to improvise a sukuinage, that Ichiyamamoto nearly shut down. Brilliant effort, and Tochinoshin is 6-7.
Myogiryu defeats Kotoeko – Myogiryu gets his left hand grip almost at once, and Kotoeko is wise enough to know he is in trouble. He works to break Myogiryu’s hold, but can’t quite get him off of his belt. Myogiryu walks Kotoeko to the edge of the ring and throws for the win. Both end the day at 7-6.
Hiradoumi defeats Endo – Endo worked hard to get a mawashi grip, but when he set up his right hand hold, he could not maintain it. Hiradoumi fought back with a blistering thrusting attack, and then dove in for a left hand deep grip. That grip won the match as Endo’s offense was shut down, and Hiradoumi ran him out. Hiradoumi improves to 9-4, and will try to double digits tomorrow.
Ryuden defeats Azumaryu – Again we get to see Ryuden’s strong right hand outside grip carry a match. Azumaryu had excellent thrusting position for a moment at the start of the match, but could not maintain once Ryuden got that grip and turned him to the side. Ryuden stayed focused and walked Azumaryu out for his 8th win, and is kachi-koshi for November.
Nishikigi defeats Kotoshoho – Kotoshoho front loads his sumo, and comes in strong. He’s not really able to do much against Nishikigi’s strong defense, and finds himself quickly pushed out by Nisikigi’s oshidashi. Both are now 6-7.
Ura defeats Takarafuji – Nice to see Ura wait Takarafuji out. They grapple and lock up in the middle of the dohyo, with Takarafuji having a better offensive position. As Takarafuji is Mr “Defend and Extend”, his sumo instincts take over, and he works to wear Ura down. Ura lets him for a fair length of time, and then his sumo instincts switch in. He finds Takarafuji’s left arm, grabs it and gives it a solid tug. Ura is rewarded with a turned around Takarafuji, whom he pushes out from behind. Ura improves to 3-10.
Takanosho defeats Ichinojo – I am going to guess that between his chronically sore back, and the distractions of his off dohyo antics being in the press, Ichinojo is about as deflated as you can make him. Takanosho is struggling himself, but makes fast and fairly easy work of getting Ichinojo moving, and pushed out, advancing to 6-7.
Kotonowaka defeats Midorifuji – Midorifuji had a narrow window to win this match, and he came very close. But then Kotonowaka was able to recover, consolidate his position, and hold Midorifuji far enough away that his bag of tricks were neutralized. Good recovery by Kotonowaka, followed by an oshidashi, and he’s now kachi-koshi at 8-5.
Takayasu defeats Oho – The big match of the day, and it went about as you would expect it to. Takayasu, a former Ozeki, and in good health, was completely under matched by Oho. Maybe some day Oho can work at this level against an opponent of this size and power, but not today. There was a brief second where Takayasu was on one foot following the tachiai, but Oho was in no position to make him pay for that mistake. Takayasu eventually gets a left hand inside grip, and from there, it’s nap time for junior, as Takayasu lays him down and turns off the lights. Takayasu the sole leader at 11-2.
Wakamotoharu defeats Daieisho – Wakamotoharu absorbed a lot of Daieisho’s big thrusting sumo, and managed to stay on his feet and in the match. Daieisho’s attempt at finishing Wakamotoharu flopped, allowing Wakamotoharu to capture him from the side. Daieisho attempted to escape, but simply made matters worse, and Wakamotoharu ran him out. Wakamotoharu kachi-koshi at 8-5.
Sadanoumi defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru was just a bit too mobile and frantic today, and found himself with his back to Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi is not one to let something like that go, and Tobizaru found his 8th loss by okuridashi. Sadanoumi improves to 6-7.
Meisei defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama put all of his hopes on a head-hold and pull strategy, which Meisei was able to counter. Without any more meaningful offense, Kiribayama was easy meat once he attempted that pull, and Meisei tossed him into the front row to advance to 7-6.
Mitakeumi defeats Hokutofuji – Mitakeumi holds short on the tachiai, drawing Hokutofuji forward. Off balance, Hokutofuji is easy to drop with a rapid hatakikomi, and both exit the dohyo with 6-7 records. Maybe, just maybe, Mitakeumi can rescue some scrap of dignity with a kachi-koshi.
Wakatakakage defeats Nishikifuji – Wakatakakage was not going to lose this match no matter what. His sumo was so committed that he was continuing his yorikiri down the hanamichi for a short distance. Wakatakakage now 7-6.
Tamawashi defeats Shodai – It fell to sumo’s iron man, as injured as he is, to end the farce that has been Shodai’s Ozeki tenure. It’s a dirty job, but someone had to do it. He comes into the tachiai strong, and turns the oshi-zumo dial to “blast” and proceeds on plan. He takes Shodai out by oshidashi, and improves to 4-9. Shodai make-koshi at 5-8, and will follow Mitakeumi down the ranks to Sekiwake at Hatsu.
Takakeisho defeats Hoshoryu – With only one item of business left on today’s schedule, it was time for Hoshoryu to try and bounce back from his day 12 loss against Oho. But the thing about the “tough” part of the schedule, it is tough. Takakeisho was ready for Hoshoryu, and his sumo was strong and focused, landing volley after volley against Hoshoryu’s chest and body. Hoshoryu was driven from the ring, and Takakeisho advances to 10-3, to stay 1 win behind Takayasu.