Here we are again, nearing the half-way line, many rikishi have completed their fourth match in the lower divisions, and some of them even collected their kachi-koshi or make-koshi already.Continue reading
We have a long list of interesting bouts today – famous former sekitori! Up-and-comers! Wakaichiro! It really was a fantastic day.Continue reading
After day 8’s cornucopia of lower division action, day 9 is a leaner beast, with a handful of matches, many with great interest. Wakaichiro battles in the elite group of undefeated Jonidan rikishi, and Wakamotoharu visits Juryo to measure for his hoped-for sekitori promotion in March.
Wakaichiro vs Hokutoo – With his kachi-koshi already secure, Wakaichiro enters an elite group of 13 rikishi with 4-0 records to sort out who gets a shot at the Jonidan yusho. First stop is 26 year sumo veteran Hokutoo from Hakkaku heya. They met once before in September, with Wakaichiro beating him.
Kenho vs Yoshimura – Kenho is winless, and looking to be in poor physical form. With an 0-4 start, the question is how far down the banzuke he will drop for Osaka. His opponent, the much smaller Yoshimura, is suffering through an 0-4 record as well. This may be a chance for Kenho to pick up a much needed win.
Torakio vs Dewaazuma – The Naruto heya rikishi starts day 9 with a 2-2 record. He has fought Dewaazuma twice before, with them splitting the series 1-1. By all counts, this is an even match, and may make for some good sumo.
Musashikuni vs Chiyoarashi – Musashikuni is 1-3, but battled through his physical difficulties for a much need win on day 8. His day 9 match is against Kokonoe heya’s Chiyoarashi, who won their only prior match. Chiyoarashi is a former Juryo man, who was injured in 2013, and has thus far not returned to higher rank.
Midorifuji vs Kitaharima – A 2-2 bracket match features Midorifuji’s second bout with former Maegashira 15 Kitaharima. Midorifuji took their prior match at Kyushu 2018.
Wakamotoharu vs Takekaze – With a 4-0 score in the top ranks of Makushita, Wakamotoharu has a solid chance of getting promoted to Juryo for Osaka, and joining his brother Wakatakakage. But day 9 he faces the ur-veteran Takekaze to test his mettle.
We start act 2, and some of our lower division “ones to watch” are getting ready for their 3rd bout of the tournament. On day 6 we can enjoy some great matches, and we all hope that Kenho’s mawashi is tightened up today.
Hattorizakura vs Yuriki – Sumo’s eternal loss leader will once again show the offensive power of a discarded sock with a hole in the toe.
Wakaichiro vs Fudano – Wakaichiro finds himself in the 2-0 bracket, after surprising everyone by winning his previous match fighting on the mawashi. That match was rough and chaotic, but it was a win. Will he try it again against veteran Fudano?
Kenho vs Kasugamine – Kenho “The Package” squares off against 34 year old veteran Kasugamine in this 0-2 bracket match. Kenho has a distinct size advantage, and Kasugamine has had trouble holding rank above the bottom of Sandanme.
Torakio vs Denzan – In a 1-1 bracket match, Naruto beya’s man from Bulgaria tries to pick up his second white star. He faces Denzan, a veteran of 89 basho who at one time ranked securely in mid-Makushita, before injuries and poor performance relegated him to Sandanme.
Shoji vs Izumigawa – Another 1-1 bracket match, Musashigawa’s Shoji will take on Minezaki heya’s Izumigawa. Izumigawa is another young, up and coming rikihsi who is working his way through Sandanme. Should be a fairly even fight.
Musashikuni vs Okinofuji – It seems to be Musashigawa day at the Kokugikan as the heya’s scion Musashikuni competes against Hakkaku’s Okinofuji. Sadly this is an 0-2 bracket match, and Musashikuni has struggled thus far at Hatsu.
Ura vs Kitaharima – Ura picked up his first loss in several months on day 4, dropping to 1-1. Now he faces Kitanoumi’s former Juryo rikishi Kitaharima. Ura has probably reached a level of competition that is finally a challenge for him at this level of post-operative training and conditioning. So he will be working much harder to win from here on out.
Ichiyamamoto vs Hamayutaka – Ichiyamamoto dropped his first match (day 2) and now finds himself in the 1-1 bracket for his 3rd match. He will need to best Tokitsukaze heya’s Hamayutaka, who is fighting at close to his highest ever rank. They are roughly the same size and weight, so it could be a real battle.