With the Hatsu basho drawing the a close, the roster of our “Ones To Watch” grow short, as most of our favorite lower division rikishi have completed their 7 matches for the tournament. Before we get into the matches for day 14, lets look at some action from day 13.
Wakaichiro finishes Hatsu 5-2 – His day 13 win over Tainaka saw Wakaichiro return to his powerful oshi attack plan, and control most of the match. With his kachi-koshi +1, precedent suggests a promotion to the bottom of Sandanme for March.
Kenho finishes 1-6 – Completely miserable basho for Kenho, and one has to wonder if his amazingly large size has compounded other problems he might be having. Hopefully he will recover in Osaka and spring back.
Torakio secured his kachi-koshi in the final match, and will be seeded further up the Sandanme ranks in March. It will mark a new career high rank for the young man from Bulgaria, and we wish him good fortune.
Naya was able to confirm his rank in Makushita with a final match kachi-koshi, beating Sandanme rikishi Kirinoryu. Being able to hit-and-hold a Makushita rank is a significant milestone in his progress, and it will be a new high rank for him in March.
Ichiyamamoto closed out the basho with a loss to Kotokamatani, but had already secured his kachi-koshi. With the competition in Makushita being especially tough, a kachi-koshi at this rank is a notable accomplishment. This could return him to the “top 10” in Makushita for March.
Wakamotoharu finished Hatsu unbeaten, and is not only going to join his brother in Juryo in March, but now has a Makushita yusho to his name. Outstanding performance from Wakamotoharu, and we look forward to his Juryo debut.
Akua lost in his final match, finishing Hatsu with a disappointing 2-5 record. He will not be campaigning to return to Sekitori status any time soon, and will need to regroup, and re-climb the Makushita “wall”.
On to day 14’s matches –
Hattorizakura vs Toya – Who are we kidding? This is almost certainly a Toya win. We keep hoping Hattorizakura will start competing, but there is no telling when if ever that will happen.
Musashikuni vs Ohata – Winner gets kachi-koshi from this match, and should Musashikuni pull out a win, it will represent a remarkable and impressive recovery from 0-3 start. We know that Musashikuni has it in him to win, if his body will cooperate.
Midorifuji vs Kaito – Midorifuji already has his kachi-koshi, so this match will determine how high up the banzuke we will see Midorifuji in March.