Haru Day 7 – Ones to Watch

A quick update on the lower divisions for day 7, another roster full of action. Day 6 action saw Amakaze, Terunofuji and Naya bring in white stars.

Akua vs Toyohibiki – Former Makuuchi mainstay Toyohibiki takes on Akua, as the next stop on Akua’s drive to return to Juryo. Toyohibiki has struggled since going kyujo from Juryo in Hatsu 2018.

Midorifuji vs Kototebakari – A 2-1 bracket match, compact powerhouse Midorifuji will face fast rising star Kototebakari from Sadogatake heya. Kototebakari has been in professional sumo for 8 basho, and has been on a rapid upward ascent. Given their size and sumo style, this could be a barn-burner match.

Musashikuni vs Takaryu – Like Musashikuni, Takaryu rose quickly into Makushita, and has been trying to find a way past “the wall”. This 2-1 bracket will see who advances, and who will struggle to get to kachi-koshi this tournament.

Naya vs Kotoryusei – This 3-0 bracket match does in fact have Makushitia yusho implications. The winner will take home a kachi-koshi on day 7 (quite a feat) and advance to the increasingly narrow yusho contender group. Naya continues to look strong, confident and absolutely sure of his sumo.

Shoji vs Hagane – A 1-2 bracket match, Musashigawa’s Shoji will be fighting to pick up his second win, and pull even for the tournament.

Wakaichiro vs Kotourasaki – Our Texan sumotori will be facing Sandanme 100 Kotourasaki from Sadogatake heya. A relative light weight (68kg), he has a Jonidan yusho to his name. After an opening win, Wakaichiro has left the dohyo disappointed for the past 2 matches. A win today would put him even for the tournament.

Terunofuji vs Teraosho – After dispatching the gargantuan Sakaefuji on day 6, Terunofuji is 3-0 for Haru, and faces a long serving lower division rikishi, Teraosho. Thus far, Terunofuji seems to be maintaining his knees well, even against truly massive opponents.

Hatsu Day 4 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Kenho
The Enormous Kenho Pushes A Light Snack Into the Fryer While a Gyoji Looks On In Terror

Day 3 was a feast of lower division goodness, which included Ura’s first loss in several months. I am going to guess he has finally hit the level of competition that he will need to work to overcome, but I have no doubt he will overcome. Naya (Taiho’s grandson) won his match, as did Akua.

Day 4 looks solid, with perpetual loser Hattorizakura up first to start the day with a predictable loss. It’s hilarious to note, he may also be the only rikishi to lose twice in a single match, which happened day 1.

Hattorizakura vs Daigonishiki – We know how this one goes, but I am sure we are all curious to see if he might somehow manage a win (a real one) someday.

Kenho vs Toho – I do hope that Kenho’s mawashi is more secure this time. His day 2 match saw him struggling pre bout to keep it in the upright and locked position, and he was not entirely successful. Toho is a much smaller, faster rikishi, from Otake heya. His biggest challenge is to manage the sheer bulk that Kenho brings to the dohyo.

Musashikuni vs Irie – The Musashigawa scion has faced Irie twice, and lost both times. Irie is a 30 year old veteran who has been prowling around Makushita for 39 basho. He’s a big fellow. I hope Musashikuni’s giant hands are big enough to move this guy.

Midorifuji vs Asakoki – Midorifuji faces a lightweight brawler in Asakoki, who won their prior match on day 6 of Aki.

Hoshoryu vs Takaryu – From the annals of “keep hope alive”, if Hoshoryu wins, the much hoped for match up between Hoshoryu and Ura is still possible. So lets hope that Makushita veteran (and former Juryo 13) Takaryu is not in top form.

Ichiyamamoto vs Tokushinho – Likewise, this is a rematch between these two rikishi, with Ichiyamamoto losing their prior engagement at Hatsu last year. Tokushinho spent 27 basho in Juryo, so I am guessing this is going to be a bit of a spanking.