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Washuyama

Thoughts on Kyushu 2010

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As the final basho of 2010 comes to an end, it leaves me with a smile... Although it started with the excitement of Hakuho's winning streak, his day 2 loss may have given others the motivation that made this basho spectacular as the yusho winner wasn't decided on day 11! Kaio's 12-3 was a unexpected treat to end the year. Was it his last gasp? Who knows, but I'm done predicting his retirement and thing he'll still be around this time next year. Great showings by Goeido and Toyonoshima as they try to re-establish themselves. Also love seeing Kaisei get the Juryo yusho! Best of luck to him for the future. And now my questions for 2011...

- Have we seen "the best" from Hakuho yet? At 25 he may be just coming into his prime and considering he's come off back-to-back 86 win years that is a scary thought.

- Will anybody (read Baruto) claim the vacant Y slot? That probably depends on my Hakuho question above...

- Will Toyonoshima or Kisenosato or Tochiozan or Kakuryu or Kotoshogiku or Homasho or Tochinoshin or anybody make a serious move toward Ozeki? As we seem to gain one ozeki a year, I think somebody will but, at this point, have no idea who that may be.

- Will Kotooshu..... never mind...

Anyway, that's what's running through my mind as this year of sumo comes to a close...

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I'm terrible at predictions but...

I don't think there is anyone in sanyaku today who is consistent enough to make an ozeki run. Similarly no ozeki is consistent enough for a yokozuna run though I sincerely hope Kaio starts one :-)

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Kaio's 12-3 was a unexpected treat to end the year. Was it his last gasp? Who knows, but I'm done predicting his retirement and thing he'll still be around this time next year.

Probably his last hurrah, but hopefully not his last gasp and hopefully he will see out at least one more year on the dohyo.

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So now that raises a question...(which i think may have been touched upon a few years back lol) Would u rather see Kaio muscle his way to Yokozuna...only then to have age catch up to him and falter into retirement after maybe a year? Or rather see him quietly end his Ozeki run on a strong point and then announce his retirement after a few subpar basho?

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- Have we seen "the best" from Hakuho yet? At 25 he may be just coming into his prime and considering he's come off back-to-back 86 win years that is a scary thought.

As far is his results are concerned, Hakuho is unlikely to get any better, but he won't drop too much too soon. Maybe will keep about 80 wins a year before age catches up with him.

- Will anybody (read Baruto) claim the vacant Y slot? That probably depends on my Hakuho question above...

Baruto ? Is he this focused ? He looks comfortable at Ozeki.

- Will Toyonoshima or Kisenosato or Tochiozan or Kakuryu or Kotoshogiku or Homasho or Tochinoshin or anybody make a serious move toward Ozeki? As we seem to gain one ozeki a year, I think somebody will but, at this point, have no idea who that may be.

If they don't gear up one - or more - of the new generation guys will make it faster.... All of these names you brought up are kind of stuck at their current levels and only an unexpected turn of events to change it.

- Will Kotooshu..... never mind...

Kotooshu did double-digit records three times out six. It is good for his standards. For longevity records he's taken the right path.

Edited by shumitto

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So now that raises a question...(which i think may have been touched upon a few years back lol) Would u rather see Kaio muscle his way to Yokozuna...only then to have age catch up to him and falter into retirement after maybe a year? Or rather see him quietly end his Ozeki run on a strong point and then announce his retirement after a few subpar basho?

I would like to see Kaio reach Yokozuna, fight one tournament and then retire. Go out on a high (Showing respect...)

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I would like to see Kaio reach Yokozuna, fight one tournament and then retire. Go out on a high (I am not worthy...)

Since his becoming a Yokozuna is nothing more than a dream, I would like to see him retire right now. I doubt if he can come up with another record even close to his amazing 12-3. He has shown that he can still compete at the highest levels and he has nothing more to prove. Retiring now would much more impressive than going kadoban again and retiring after a losing record. If he retires at this point, he would be going out on a huge high--the biggest one possible. What could be more impressive than an ozeki the fans love not overstaying his welcome and closing his career on a winning note?

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What could be more impressive than an ozeki the fans love not overstaying his welcome and closing his career on a winning note?

Like Gernobono said to me recently, that wouldn't been taken all too well by the Japanese fans, I'm afraid. Remember when Akebono quit after winning the yusho? International fans applauded his style, but Japan raised an eyebrow because it's considered bad form there.

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What could be more impressive than an ozeki the fans love not overstaying his welcome and closing his career on a winning note?

Like Gernobono said to me recently, that wouldn't been taken all too well by the Japanese fans, I'm afraid. Remember when Akebono quit after winning the yusho? International fans applauded his style, but Japan raised an eyebrow because it's considered bad form there.

I wonder if because of Kaio's age Japanese fans are more welcome to the idea of his retiring now after the yusho..

I talked with quite a few people this week, not huge sumo fans but people I work with here and there. All of them seemed to think he'd be best to retire on a winning basho rather than having to retire while kadoban later next year....

just wondering like I said, I'm not talking to die hard sumo fans about it!! (I am not worthy...)

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What could be more impressive than an ozeki the fans love not overstaying his welcome and closing his career on a winning note?

To be honest, I think Kaio has already far overstayed his welcome by a number of years. He should really hang it up now; his record this past basho isn't (shouldn't be) fooling anyone. Maybe that's just my opinion, but the longer this goes on the less dignity he can retire with. Sorry for being so negative, but I'm just tired of it.

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Hakuho continues to astound me:

Two 86-win years, back to back. If he gets a 15-0 next basho, he'll have a 89-1 6 basho stretch, beating his previous record of 87.(09.11-10.11) In contrast, Asashoryu's best 6 basho stretch was 84, also his best year.

20 yusho/jun-yusho in a row. Closest to him is Takanohana with 13 or 14 if I remember correctly.

If he wins 3 more in a row, he will have the record for most consecutive yusho, at 8. Numbers of consecutive yusho winners:

5 - 9(Tachiyama, Tochigiyama, Haguroyama, Futabayama, Taiho, Kitanoumi, Chiyonofuji, Asashoryu, Hakuho)

6 - 2(Taiho, Asashoryu)

7 - 1(Asashoryu)

He has only given up 5 kinboshi in 3+ years as a yokozuna. Is this a record?

Is the 8th youngest rikishi in Makuuchi at just under 26 years old.

As an aside, I would LOVE a "at this age:" and/or "at this many basho into his career/rank" query, to compare on one page two(or more) rikishi given the requested criteria, e.g. "Wins by age 26"

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Thats why I think its funny that during a end of the year (2009) special about sumo they had several specialists give their thoughts (including the famous Demon) and all of them agreed that Hakuo would be a temporary Yokozuna fading out after a few bashos. Of course no one can see the future (who would have predicted both Assashoryu and Kotomitsuki being forced out for various reasons over this year alone) but I always felt this comment was unbelievable and now look at Hakuo...the guy is breaking records and will continue breaking records IMO for at least several years to come.

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