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Washuyama

Kinboshi - SHOTENRO!

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Just about had both yokozuna lose today, as Asashoryu showed weak sumo today, and was lucky to eke out a win over Aminishiki.

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I screamed, I honestly did. Watching Shotenro before the bout I was thinking about how I once read an interview with him, in which he stated it was his dream to face Hakuho, since they entered sumo at the same time but their paths had gone so differently. And I thought, good for him, today he's getting to realize his big dream, how nice. AND THEN HE TAKES DOWN HAKUHO! Unbelievable!!!! WOW!!!!!!

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Hakuho did nothing resembling offence at all. That was an embarrassment.

The nodowas broke his concentration and disrupted his attack plan. He forgot to bring in a plan B.

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Hakuho did nothing resembling offence at all. That was an embarrassment.

The nodowas broke his concentration and disrupted his attack plan. He forgot to bring in a plan B.

He's not Chiyotaikai. Shouldn't a Yokozuna always bring plan B?

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I screamed, I honestly did. Watching Shotenro before the bout I was thinking about how I once read an interview with him, in which he stated it was his dream to face Hakuho, since they entered sumo at the same time but their paths had gone so differently. And I thought, good for him, today he's getting to realize his big dream, how nice. AND THEN HE TAKES DOWN HAKUHO! Unbelievable!!!! WOW!!!!!!

What's even great is Shotenro did it with style. It wasn't lucky last ditch effort win. His tachiai was better.

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It was fantastic!! (Clapping wildly...) (Clapping wildly...) (Clapping wildly...) (Clapping wildly...)

It was incredible to be here for it! ;-)

We were with the Mongolian flag over the hanamichi facing Shotenro screaming his name so much before his match! I prayed he could do it!

Then when he did we were so excited and excited for him. (Clapping wildly...) (Clapping wildly...) (Clapping wildly...)

Then we waited outside for him where no other fans were around so we could talk to him! He came out smiling beautifully & recognized us right away! We congratulated him & he signed shiki for us to commemorate the day. I had to ask him again when he handed them back to put today's date on them.. his first Kinboshi! He was like "oh yeah..." and so excited he was asking the tsukebito what the date was! Very sweet! It was a real treat to talk to him after that!!!!

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One loss does not make a slump, but I've been yammering all year long in the other forum that Hakuho doesn't look right, especially this basho. Baruto almost had him if he'd pulled down as Hak was leaning on him, and Tenro does exactly that.

The difference in Yok styles this basho is striking, at least thus far. Asa has been using his speed and athletic ability to (a) move to the attack and take control of his opponent before the other guy has time to think, or (b) use that same speed to adjust and find a way not to lose in a situation where, if he were anyone else, he'd be toast, like today. Hak has been using a passive offence the whole time, and sooner or later, it was going to catch up with him.

I maintain that Hak's success is partly his superior technique and skill, but also his opponents lack of same to deal with him. The passive approach has paid off, but in some bouts this year, the outcome has been in the balance almost each time. Not the same with Asa. Thus far, his speed has served him well, in addition to the return of displays of the strength he was known for...

At this writing, I don't see Hak winning this basho. Oshu has shown poise, strategy and follow-through that weren't there a year ago. Mitsuki has dialed the clock back about eight years... and still has the fastest tachi-ai of all rikishi below the rank of Yok. He lines up well back of his shikirisen, and is over his opponent's line like a shot.

Great basho so far, and we're not even at the half-way point!

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