Break the sacred macaron of victory out of its fortress transportation case, and tell the yobidashi to apply a fresh coat of paint, for senshuraku is upon us, and the final disposition of many trophies, awards and honors shall be decided as the sumo world looks on.
Once again, lksumo has done a masterful job of teeing up what’s at stake for the tournament’s next and final day. In addition to all of the permutations for yusho, promotion and demotion, there are a fair number of koshis left to be decided. That makes for a number of high-stakes win-or-else matches on the final day, which will likely culminate in the highest stake san’yaku bouts and possibly a playoff for the cup.
A reminder that NHK World will have Grand Sumo Live starting at 2:30 AM US Eastern time, 11:30 PM Pacific to bring you the final 90 minutes of the tournament, including at least a half hour of speeches, trophies and celebrations.
What We Are Watching Day 15
Kotoshogiku (M9e) vs Meisei (M15w) – As lksumo pointed out, the Kyushu Bulldozer has been the crusher of Makuuchi dreams this tournament. I would guess the winner gets a special prize, and the loser gets a bowl of chanko. As a bonus, this is their first ever match, so there is a fair chance that Meisei will get to enjoy the hug-n-chug for the first time.
Ikioi vs (M8e) vs Chiyomaru (M16w) – Walking contusion Ikioi goes up against the bulbous Chiyomaru, whom he has never beaten in five tries. Someone has a bit of a mean streak, it seems, and I predict Ikioi will retire to the nearest onsen shortly afterwards to ease his aches.
Daiamami (M15e) vs Asanoyama (M5w) – Daiamami needs to take a white star from the already make-koshi Asanoyama to keep from riding the ferry back to Juryo. Sadly, Asanoyama has a 5-3 advantage over Daiamami.
Aoiyama (M12e) vs Yoshikaze (M4w) – Yoshikaze comes to this match 7-7, with this result deciding his winning or losing record for November. Aoiyama is looking quite genki in the second week, and is probably looking forward to having the compact Yoshikaze to bat around. They are evenly matched 9-11 for their career, but this November, Aoiyama looks stronger. Good luck berserker!
Tochiozan (M2e) vs Shodai (M4e) – The other Maegashira 4 also decides his his koshi today. He holds a 3-1 career advantage over Tochiozan, who has lost his drive in week 2. We are hoping for some solid cartoon sumo from Shodai, and a chance to remain in the top of Maegashira ranks.
Myogiryu (M1e) vs Chiyotairyu (M5e) – Darwin match, both are 7-7. Only one will emerge kachi, the other make-koshi. Myogiryu has looked focused and strong in his past two matches, and will need to stay mobile against the overwhelming up-front strength of Chiyotairyu. Their career record is 5-5. Chiyotairyu will try to blast him into pieces at the tachiai, so if Myogiryu can survive that, it’s game on.
Takakeisho (K1e) vs Nishikigi (M3e) – Already examined well in the earlier mentioned post, but Nishikigi has been full of surprises. With Takakeisho this genki, it may seem like a foregone conclusion, but I choose to keep an open mind and let events unfold as they will. [Not betting to eat anything unwise? –PinkMawashi]
Mitakeumi (S1e) vs Takayasu (O1w) – Does Mitakeumi have anything left in the tank? He has shown he can beat Takayasu, but it’s not a common event (4-10). A win for Takayasu could seal his first ever yusho, and there would be talk about his future as an eventual Yokozuna.
Brief update for the day 14 action: This was some solid sumo for a Saturday, and a fine set up for Sunday’s final. Also, remember that NHK World will be streaming the last 50 minutes of Makuuchi live with their “Grand Sumo Live” program. Do note, day 15 features less sumo, and a lot of coverage surrounding the yusho ceremony. Having now gotten to see the yusho ceremony in person, I have to admit I kind of like it. The wacky trophies, the tossing of the gyoji – good times.
Daishoho defeats Takanosho – Daishoho visits from Juryo, and gets his 8th win by testing the structural integrity of Takanosho’s right arm and shoulder.
Meisei defeats Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni remains consistently just 5% short of what he needs to win. I am a fan of the guy, and I like his sumo, but I keep hoping that he will find that extra energy to win.
Kotoshogiku defeats Okinoumi – Kotoshogiku gets his preferred set up, and immediately engages hug-n-chug mode, with its usual effect. Kotoshogiku is now at 9 wins, and it would be great to see him get double-digits in front of his home town fans.
Aoiyama defeats Daieisho – Aoiyama finally gets to deliver the pounding he had envisioned for Takakeisho. Daieisho stands there and takes it for a time, but then wisely decides it’s time to run. This only encourages Aoiyama who chases him down to finish the job. Good mobility from Aoiyama today.
Ikioi defeats Chiyoshoma – The Tylenol maximum pain match, both men look like hell as they crouch next to the dohyo, mustering the energy to stand and return to the ring. Chiyoshoma is now make-koshi.
Onosho defeats Abi – The first bout ended with both rikishi in flight and no clear winner. The torinaoshi (rematch) was all Onosho, who now has double digit wins. Abi is make-koshi with this eighth loss.
Chiyomaru defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki continues to fade as Chiyomaru finally finds his sumo and his energy. Chiyomaru worked to stalemate Kagayaki for the opening moments of the bout, with great effect. When Kagayaki faltered, Chiyomaru drove forward with energy and force, setting up a flurry of thrusts that took Kagayaki out.
Nishikigi defeats Takarafuji – Count me as celebratory that Nishikigi picked up his 8th win. Granted it was in a No-kozuna tournament, but this is a real achievement for a man who had struggled at any rank above Maegashira 9 in the past, and had a constant berth at the bottom of the banzuke for the longest time. In the interview following his match, the reporter asks him how he feels facing Takakeisho for day 15. The look is priceless.
Shohozan defeats Tochiozan – Shohozan rallies after stumbling and having Tochiozan back him up to the bales. Another home town rikishi who has performed well in front of his fans. Tochiozan’s multiple attempts at pulling left him in a defenseless position, and likely cost him the match.
Myogiryu defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze’s dohyo exit fall was broken by the yobidashi’s pedestal, more or less to the lower back. Yoshikaze, being the consummate warrior, gets up and exits the arena without any sign of pain or injury. But you know that had to hurt.
Hokutofuji defeats Ryuden – Hokutofuji’s handshake tachiai finds its mark today, connecting immediately with Ryuden’s neck. Hokutofuji raises Ryuden, and charges for the inside position. Now in control of the tempo and format of the match, Hokutofuji bats Ryuden around for a while before forcing him over the bales.
Ichinojo defeats Asanoyama – The Mongolian Behemoth shows surprising mobility today, delivering an angled tachiai against Asanoyama and rapidly landing a deep left hand grip. From this position, there is zero Asanoyama can do to resist Ichinojo’s forward motion, and the match is over in a flash. Solid, excellent sumo from the soon-to-be-former Sekiwake.
Takayasu defeats Takakeisho – Takakeisho was clearly on offense from the tachiai, and the first wave to break against the Ozeki blasted him backward and put him dangerously off balance. As Takakeisho set up the second blast, he lost footing at the same moment Takayasu pivoted, and Takakeisho could not remain on his feet. Nice defensive gambit by Takayasu that paid off due to fortunate timing. This could set up a day 15 playoff that would be for all the prizes, including a giant pile of mushrooms.
Tochinoshin defeats Mitakeumi – Tochinoshin lands his left hand grip early, and Mitakeumi has no leverage to counter in any way. Mitakeumi gets his 8th loss, and will vacate his long held Sekiwake slot (8 of the last 9 basho), just 2 tournaments after winning the yusho. Tochinoshin scores win #8, and does not have to fear kadoban for January.
It’s the end of act 2, and we saw another narrowing of the yusho race. But there is still a broad set of genki rikishi that remain in the hunt, waiting for Takakeisho to lose another match. Takakeisho thus far shows no signs of easing up. As we had expected, Takakeisho is likely to be an important rikishi in the future, provided he can keep his body healthy and his mind sharp.
There may be a few new folks reading the web site, and it’s been a while since I have done this, so let me explain some of the “why” of Tachiai.
Tachiai is purely a fan weblog. It is a non-revenue site, meaning we don’t sell ads, we don’t sell your data, and we don’t ask our readers to do anything more than spend some time with us and enjoy sumo with us. The contributors to this site, myself included, receive no compensation for our efforts, and do it purely for the love of the sport, and our shared desire to bring sumo to more people in the English speaking world. That means all of us have “day jobs” that pay the bills, and allow us enough free time to follow sumo.
As far as I know, none of the contributors are journalists, or people who write for a living. On Tachiai, there should be no expectations of the following:
Protection from “spoilers”: Sumo happens in the middle of the night, US time. Most US fans won’t get a chance to see results until much later in the day. But we report on proceedings well before most sumo fans have watched video of the matches. It’s ok to wait to read Tachiai until after you have enjoyed your favorite video feed (we recommend the excellent NHK World, Jason’s All Sumo Channel on Youtube, and of course Kintamayama).
Objective reporting: As fans, all of the contributors have favorites. We have things we like in sumo, and things we don’t like. All of the contributors (along with the readers and commenters) can and should feel free to chime in with their views too, but we insist you keep it polite.
Comprehension of Japan, Japanese custom XYZ, mastery of Japanese culture: To “get” sumo, it helps to have some knowledge of how it came about, and how it relates to the broader cultural landscape of Japan. That being said, I am pretty sure none of the contributors to this site are Japanese, or wish to replace their own cultural aesthetic with that of Japan. We do our best, but we are not, and never will be Japanese.
Good, with that back in writing for the first time in several months, let’s enjoy today’s mayhem.
Kotoeko defeats Chiyomaru – Big Chiyomaru goes down to Kotoeko’s slapping attack, and is now make-koshi. Barring some improbable circumstance, he will return to Juryo to sort out his health and his sumo. His most recent tour of Makuuchi began in July of 2017, and he has gathered a following. We hope whatever is plaguing him, he overcomes in short order.
Onosho defeats Chiyoshoma – Onosho stays in the yusho hunt, and picks up his kachi-koshi. Chiyoshoma took an early advantage, but Onosho rallied and repulsed the Mongolian, with both visiting the west side zabuton.
Endo defeats Arawashi – Arawashi can barely stand on his injured leg, so this was a “gimme” for Endo. Arawashi will be joining the barge of sadness sailing back to Juryo.
Meisei defeats Sadanoumi – Meisei picks up his first ever win over Sadanoumi, and Sadanoumi made him work very hard for it. In fact Sadanoumi was in the driver’s seat for the balance of the match, but Meisei unleaded a well time hatakikomi at the edge to rescue the win.
Daieisho defeats Takanosho – Daieisho stays in the hunt group and scores his kochi-kochi. The match was a messy thrusting battle that could have gone either way, but Daieisho got the gumbai, and the shimpan upheld.
Aoiyama defeats Takarafuji – Aoiyama may be the only man in sumo to accomplish the nearly impossible: finding and then attacking Takarafuji’s neck. Takarafuji battled bravely, but Aoiyama had too much forward pressure interleaved with powerful blows to Takarafuji’s upper body. Aoiyama joins the rest of the crew who achieved kachi-koshi today, and remain 1 loss behind Takakeisho.
Okinoumi defeats Abi – Veteran Okinoumi completely disrupts Abi-zumo, the second straight loss via the same processes. We may have reached the expiration date on the daily use of the double arm thrusting attack from Abi. Now it gets interesting, because we will see what else this guy can do.
Shohozan defeats Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni was protecting his right arm the past two days, but that was gone in today’s match against “Big Guns” Shohozan. Both men are brawlers, and both men got their match today. A running brawl that traversed the dohyo repeatedly, they exchanged fierce blows, thrusts and anything they could think of. The crowd was going wild for home town boy Shohozan, and then the two went chest to chest. Go watch this match. Then go watch it again. Chiyonokuni is now make-koshi, but he fought was great vigor today.
Yutakayama defeats Kagayaki – Another high effort bout, and it was unusual to see Kagayaki having a difficult time controlling his balance. Yutakayama is still less than 100%, but he put forth a great effort today, and was rewarded with a much needed win.
Takanoiwa defeats Ryuden – Ryuden’s false start / matta likely blew his concentration, and Takanoiwa applied an expertly timed slap down for the win.
Yoshikaze defeats Tochiozan – A brief struggle for grip or inside position at the tachiai quickly evolved to Yoshikaze bracketing Tochiozan and motoring ahead in 2nd gear. A monoii reviewed the final moments, but Yoshikaze got a much needed 5th win to keep kachi-koshi hopes alive.
Nishikigi defeats Myogiryu – I dare say that after his string of strong wins, Myogiryu’s loss to Nishikigi may come as something of a surprise. But Nishikigi was able to contain Myogiryu, and progressively work his position into a win. Nishikigi is holding up to his tour through the upper ranks much better than I could have hoped.
Takakeisho defeats Hokutofuji – An uneven tachiai that might have been a matta, or just Hokutofuji missing the launch, but the goyji did not call it and the fight was on. Hokutofuji had no chance to set up either offense or defense in any real sense, and Takakeisho completely blasted him up and back.
Tamawashi defeats Kaisei – Tamawashi had to put in a lot of effort, as there is just a tremendous amount of Kaisei to move. Tamawashi’s normal bash-bash-push approach was rendered, but yielded little forward motion, as Kaisei for a moment reminded me of Andre the Giant in “The Princess Bride”, looking at Wesley mid battle, and saying “I want you to feel like you are doing well…”
Shodai defeats Mitakeumi – I kid a lot about Shodai, but his effort at Kyushu has been noteworthy. Today against the one time Ozeki hopefully once again illustrates that if he can survive the tachiai, Shodai has solid fundamentals, and acres of strength. Mitakeumi is in dire need of 3 more wins in the next 5 days.
Tochinoshin defeats Ichinojo – and the Tochinoshin fans breath a well-earned sigh of relief. Ichinojo consents to allow the Ozeki an attempt at a lift and shift, and Tochinoshin is all to happy to oblige.
Takayasu defeats Chiyotairyu – A solid yotzu battle from two enormous, burly rikishi. This is not Chiyotairyu’s strong sumo, but he put up a good battle. Takayasu prevailed for his kachi-koshi, and remains in the yusho hunt group.
Welcome to the end of act 2! As described earlier, act 2 is where we narrow the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the survivors from the damned. Much to my delight, the field for the yusho is still fairly broad, with 9 rikishi occupying the leader board with 6 matches left, though there were 14 yesterday. We can expect a different mix of matches in act 3, and we will see much larger rank gaps between competitors as the schedule works to whittle down everything to an entertaining conclusion.
Kotoeko vs Chiyomaru – These two rikishi could well trade places for January, as Chiyomaru is one loss away from nearly certain demotion to Juryo, and Kotoeko is on a kachi-koshi trajectory that would make him a good candidate to return to the top division.
Onosho vs Chiyoshoma – Onosho looks to stay in the yusho hunt, and seem to be dialed into his sumo. I am still hoping we might see a playoff between Onosho and Takakeisho, but the odds of that are long indeed.
Kotoshogiku vs Daishomaru – The crowd in the venue love Kotoshogiku, and he seems to be eating it up. He won the only prior match with Daishomaru, and as long as he can lock up the Oitekaze man, he should be able to score the white star for day 10.
Takanosho vs Daieisho – Daieisho also seeks to stay in the yusho race, and I predict he will make short work of Takanosho, who is not looking very competitive this tournament.
Aoiyama vs Takarafuji – Also a member of the yusho race team, the giant Bulgarian has an impressive combination of size, speed and strength. Takarafuji’s performance has been middling at best, and I don’t see him overcoming the 16-3 career advantage of Aoiyama today.
Abi vs Okinoumi – Both of these rikishi are in the hunt group. The winner gets a clear advantage in remaining in the hunt for the yusho. Now that his opponents are starting to disable Abi’s preferred attack, will he move to change things up?
Chiyonokuni vs Shohozan – How badly is Chiyonokuni’s arm hurt? A loss on day 10 against local favorite, and unapologetic street brawler Shohozan will relegate Chiyonokuni to a make-koshi. If he can’t find a few more wins, he could face a brutal drop down the banzuke for New Years.
Takanoiwa vs Ryuden – Ryuden is in much better physical condition than Takanoiwa as of day 10. Frankly it’s guts and iron will that keeps Takanoiwa in the basho at this point. I am sure he is looking to prove to his new oyakata that he’s tough and willing to do whatever it takes to compete. Given Takanoiwa’s preferred sumo style, I would not expect to see Ryuden draw him into another endurance contest, but we can always hope!
Tochiozan vs Yoshikaze – Tochiozan’s impressive start has sputtered to a stop. Likewise, Yoshikaze (who is from Kyushu) has been struggling for wins. These two are evenly matched over their career, but Yoshikaze needs the win badly to stay away from a make-koshi trajectory.
Myogiryu vs Nishikigi – I am inclinde to favor Myogiryu in this match, if for no other reason that his intensity has been off the scale thus far. It’s tough to keep that kind of drive going for 2 solid weeks of brutal grinding sumo, but I think he still has some stamina left.
Takakeisho vs Hokutofuji – Both are pugilistic powerhouses, but right now Takakeisho is on an unrestricted afterburner run at the yusho. Hokutofuji has the size and strength to stop him, but can he overcome the “wave action” attack? I am looking for Hokutofuji’s “handshake tachiai” today, and an early gambit to get inside no matter what the cost. If he can break through the first wave, Takakeisho may have his hands full.
Tamawashi vs Kaisei – I think of this match as good clean sumo fun. Tamawashi will try to push and muscle Kaisei around. Its like putting a huge set of plates on the bar, and then showing off for your buddies. Kaisei knows he’s huge, and he knows how to use that amazing bulk to confound and conquer the strong and the mighty. Can’t wait to see how this one goes.
Mitakeumi vs Shodai – I will say it for certain now, Mitakeumi is off his sumo. He’s struggled this basho more than he should in a No-kozuna situation, which was tailor made for him to run up the score and push for Ozeki. But instead he has faded, and is struggling against the likes of Ryuden. Baring any physical problems we don’t know about, the problem is in that brain of his. Perhaps he was rattled by missing the Ozeki bid at Aki, who can tell. But don’t go into a match against Shodai, as his cartoon sumo will eat you alive and leave you wondering how.
Ichinojo vs Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin can in fact lift Ichinojo, if it comes to that. We have seen it before, but I still worry about that odd knee motion at the end of his day 9 match against Takakeisho. Above all, I would like to see the newest Ozeki continue to stay healthy and in the fight. This may be a good test match: if Tochinoshin is healthy, he should hand Ichinojo his 7th loss.
Chiyotairyu vs Takayasu – Hopefully Takayasu will give Chiyotairyu a better fight on day 10 than he got from Goeido on day 9. I am still mumbling to myself about that henka. Both men love to do giant blast-off tachiais, so it may be loud and brutal as they launch off the shikiri-sen.
Goeido vs Asanoyama – Goeido, please don’t henka again today. This is your first time fighting Asanoyama, but he’s still not quite up to his full potential. Respect what he will become and give him the benefit of a good battle with the top Ozeki in the sport.
Day 9 action worked to narrow the yusho race somewhat, with the goal for the next 5 days being for someone to get dirt on Takakeisho. A single additional loss at this point for the leader could open up a multi-way contest for the Emperor’s Cup going into the final weekend. I would call special attention to what may be an emergent Ryuden-zumo doctrine. Twice in the last few days we have seen him grapple with his opponent, stalemating them and wearing them down. This approach requires almost superhuman stamina, but its amazing to watch. I am hoping we will see him use it a few more times before day 15.
Chiyoshoma defeats Tokushoryu – Visiting the top division to even out the holes in the torikumi, Tokushoryu gets the business from Chiyoshoma, who is working hard to steer himself to the safety of kachi-koshi. The match did have a certain “dancing with the stars” quality to it.
Onosho defeats Daiamami – It’s clear that Onosho is dialed into his sumo by this point. He starts strong and increases the pressure on Daiamami, who is completely overwhelmed. Onosho’s sumo is not fancy at this point, but highly effective. He raised Daiamami up with a quick nodowa, and then focused his pushing against center mass. Onosho stays in the yusho hunt for day 9.
Aoiyama defeats Meisei – After a rough start, Aoiyama has settled into the basho and 7 consecutive wins. For a man of considerable mass, his maneuverability is impressive. Coupled with his long reach and the power he puts behind his tsuppari, Meisei could only react and try for a desperation throw at the tawara. Aoiyama also retains his slot in the group 1 behind Takakeisho.
Takanosho defeats Chiyonokuni – Notable because we can clearly see Chiyonokuni trying to protect that right arm. How hurt is he? He’s still showing up for matches. But he is 1 loss away from a make-koshi.
Yutakayama defeats Chiyomaru – Chiyomaru puts some effort into it, but in a battle of the walking wounded, Yutakayama was just healthy enough to prevail. One more loss and Chiyomaru punches his ticket for a trip down to Juryo to sort out his health and his sumo.
Daieisho defeats Arawashi – Daieisho maintains his spot in the group 1 behind Takakeisho, and hands the injured Arawashi his make-koshi, ensuring he will be headed down to Juryo for January. Arawashi has had a terrible time with that leg, and needs to find a way to get healed up.
Takarafuji defeats Endo – Endo had nothing, zero today. Takarafuji really needed the win, but this match lacked any vigor or drive. There is a growing number of rikishi who really need the New Years break to get their bodies back together. These two especially.
Shohozan defeats Sadanoumi – Local rikishi Shohozan has the crowd driving him on, and his sumo was fast and brutal. Inside quickly after the tachiai, Shohozan did not let Sadanoumi generate any offense, and quickly pushed him out to the cheers of the hometown crowd.
Ikioi defeats Abi – Ikioi defeats an effective counter-strategy to Abi-zumo, attacking Abi’s arms from underneath until he is forced to abandon his morotsuki attack, and is an easy target for Ikioi’s counter-attacks.
Kotoshogiku defeats Kagayaki – The Fukuoka crowd was cranked to 11 for Kotoshogiku, and Kagayaki allowed him to set up the hug-n-chug. Kotoshogiku remains on a kachi-koshi trajectory for his home-town basho.
Takanoiwa defeats Nishikigi – Good to see some “A game” sumo from Takanoiwa. Though Nishikigi is getting quite close to the make-koshi line already, he has fared better than I expected at this high of a rank. There may be some future for him to visit the joi-jin and not be a completely free win.
Tamawashi defeats Asanoyama – Classic Tamawashi-zumo today, his stance, his thrusts, all of it is what we have come to expect out of him, and he gave Asanoyama little chance to respond. After an early volley to raise Asanoyama, he focused his attacks center-mass and controlled the flow and result of the match. Good sumo.
Myogiryu defeats Hokutofuji – Myogiryu continues to impress, and derails the Hokutofuji express service with a boisterous clang. Myogiryu reacted perfectly to Hokutofuji’s now familiar opening gambit, and used his own predictability to shut down any chance at offense.
Kaisei defeats Tochiozan – The wheels have come off of Tochiozan’s parade float, as he has lost 3 of the last 4 matches after a fantastic start. We know Kaisei is injured, and came back from kyujo, but today he did put together a much needed win. Why Tochiozan decided to go chest to chest with nearly a quarter of a ton of Kaisei will forever be a mystery.
Ichinojo defeats Shodai – All the tricks in “Toon Town” can’t really do much against the Mongolian Boulder once he gets rolling. Its too early to declare that Ichinojo is going to finish strong and try to hold onto his rank, but it was nice to see him actually put some effort into his sumo.
Ryuden defeats Mitakeumi – Much like his win over Takayasu, what is fascinating to watch is how much Ryuden works to bring the match to a stalemate, then slowly grinds down his opponent. Takayasu used to do this all of the time, and I watched Takayasu lose to this approach in total fascination and disbelief. Mitakeumi simply did not have the stamina to endure the contest. Ryuden expends every erg of his strength to bind and limit Mitakeumi from moving, and just ratchets up the pressure moment by moment. It must be fairly brutal to be on the receiving end of this. I hope he continues to evolve this strategy. While it’s not flashy, for sumo nerds its like watching a car being crushed – terrible and fascinating at the same time.
Takayasu defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze tried a few things, valid and valiant moves, but Takayasu had his number from the tachiai. Better luck next time, berserker.
Goeido defeats Chiyotairyu – A shameful henka. Absolutely shameful. Really Goeido, has it come to that? I know your sumo can defeat Chiyotairyu. For folks who may not know, this is perfectly legit, but quite disappointing for the top Ozeki in the sport to deploy against a rank-and-file rikishi (in my opinion).
Takakeisho defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin was completely disrupted by the “wave action” and his fall at the west side tawara did not look good, as his fragile right knee moved in an unnatural way to my eye. It almost seemed to collapse has the Ozeki worked to maintain his footing. Takakeisho remains the sole leader.