There are several story lines coming out of this month’s basho. Caution, spoilers follow:
“Sometimes…everybody’s hurt…sometimes…” – REM (paraphrased)
This is a rough sport. I wish everyone well in recovering from their injuries. The best tournament is when everyone’s healthy. When the greatest in the sport has to sit out, it’s just not the same. Well, before I start listening to Bette Midler or John Waite, I’ll just wish everyone to Get Well Soon!
Kotoshogiku was on fire this tournament. At 11-4, he tied with Kisenosato, Ikioi, and Yoshikaze – just behind Kakuryu and Terunofuji. He’s still very one dimensional, though. I really wish he’d learn to do something other than jack-rabbit yorikiri/oshidashi/oshitaoshi. He comes hard out of the gate and tries to blast the opponent out. Too many sanyaku and a growing number of maegashira are ready for this, or his knees seem to be giving him issues. If he’d develop some belt throw techniques, he’d be a more formidable opponent.
There’s no sense in avoiding this spoiler. Goeido is kadoban yet again. He did put up a valiant effort against Kisenosato. He clearly wants to stave off demotion but he will need to get a better result next tournament.
To learn about which special prizes were given out, click below:
So as not to spoil the winner for those who may be following on Twitter, I’m not going to give things away in the headlines. There are many big story lines to come out of today’s bouts and this month’s basho. The most important one to me is the yusho winner and I imagine not everyone had a chance to watch live or has seen the replays yet. To find out the yusho winner, click below:
Basically, this boils down to two men now. Yokozuna Kakuryu is now in the lead with two losses while the injured Terunofuji has three losses. Terunofuji would need to beat Kakuryu twice tomorrow to pick up the yusho. Unfortunately, that seems increasingly remote after the way his knee was unable to stave off Goeido. Further, Kakuryu attempted two henka against Kisenosato, demonstrating exactly how desperate he is to get his second yusho. Kisenosato recovered well from the likely utter shock that a yokozuna would do something that shameless. He was able to recover, barely, at the edge and drive Kakuryu to the other side of the dohyo. The joke-ozuna was able to plant, pivot, and let the ozeki’s own momentum carry him off the dohyo.
Ikioi was also eliminated from contention today at the hands of Kotoshogiku. He clearly had a strategy that could have worked, letting Kotoshogiku belly flop on the edge, but he ran out of real estate before Giku flopped.