March Tournament 2015: Day 10

Aminishiki seems to have gone down with a knee injury. It was heartbreaking to see him be unable to walk under his own power. He’d been having an excellent basho and is clearly in line for the technique special prize. He is assured of a winning record, but healthy he could have gotten 10-11 wins. Hopefully it’s not as serious as it looked but I’ll be surprised if he’s not done. With his knees at his age, this might be retirement if he can’t continue.

Speaking of retirement, it was also good to see Homasho being interviewed but a bit odd to see him in a Western suit.

Hakuho leads, followed by Terunofuji. Terunofuji seemed to wait until Kotoshogiku ran out of steam with his leg thrusts and was able to counter, getting the oshidashi victory. Tomorrow he’s up against Kaisei who lost to Harumafuji but certainly gave him a run for his money in a long, tightly contested matchup. Kisenosato’s victory over Goeido meant he was the only Ozeki to win today.

Osunaarashi got an impressive belt win today. He’s certainly not as one dimensional as he seemed last tournament. His knees are not giving him the same problems and he’s getting great power in his legs to match up with his opponents. Gagamaru dropped his first bout in a week but Ikioi bounced back with a win over Arawashi.

Homasho, say it ain’t so! Homasho retires.

Homasho

Though it does not come as much surprise due to the nature of his latest injury, Homasho has announced his retirement at the age of 33. He has missed the last three tournaments due to an ACL tear suffered in July in a bout with Harumafuji. He had just bounced back into the upper ranks of maegashira after being demoted to the lower Juryo division in 2013 and again to start 2014 due to previous injuries.

Over the course of the last twelve basho, he had only completed 6, three of them in Juryo. While recovering from the ACL tear, he had dropped out of the salaried sumo ranks to Makushita #7 and would surely face further demotion if he were to try to compete in March.

Before these injury plagued two years, Homasho was a solid upper Maegashira wrestler and had acheived the rank of komusubi three times. Each time he reached komusubi, however, he was only able to garner four wins so he’d drop back into the maegashira rank-and-file. He has won the Fighting Spirit prize five times and the Technique prize twice during his career. He’d also come in second, garnering jun-yusho, three times.

I always enjoyed his style, always giving 100% effort and demonstrating utmost respect and sportsmanship. He will remain in sumo with the Shikorayama stable as a coach under the name Tatsutagawa.

November 2014 Banzuke

The rank list (banzuke) for the November Basho is out now. The Yokozuna and Ozeki rankings are unchanged from last tournament. Obviously the biggest story is Ichinojo’s leap from the ranks of maegashira to sekiwake – skipping the komusubi. He will have to battle the top ranked wrestlers from the beginning and won’t be able to henka his way through the whole tournament. I’m projecting a 5-10 record, if he competes. His size is formidable but Tochinoshin, Ikioi, and Hakuho proved he can be beat on the belt. Please visit the Dosukoi site. They’ve got some great material. The Sumo kyokai also has the banzuke published in English at the link below.

http://www.dosukoi.fr/actualites/banzuke-du-tournoi/
http://www.sumo.or.jp/en/honbasho/banzuke/index
Both of the above links are for “current” banzuke so for the November 2014 banzuke, an update:
http://www.dosukoi.fr/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/banzuke-11-2014.pdf

Ikioi’s strong performance landed him a Komusubi rank. He’s very solid but a bit inconsistent. I’m hoping he can put together a solid tournament and stay in the upper ranks. Aoiyama joins Ichinojo as East Sekiwake. The immovable object always gets moved when battling the better wrestlers. He’ll struggle for his kachi-koshi. Takekaze stays in in the upper ranks at Komusubi.

Among the lower wrestlers, Aminishiki and Tochiozan had great tournaments and will be top-ranked maegashira. Osunaarashi drops one place while Jokoryu, Chiyotairyu, and Endo each plummetted into the midst of the middling maegashira. Joining them are Okinoumi, Tochinoshin, and Tokushoryu who did very well battling lower maegashira and juryo. Myogiryu’s and Homasho’s substantial falls are due to injury. I was disappointed to see Homasho go down. I enjoy his bouts.