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2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

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9 hours ago, sekitori said:

Hakuho is not being stubborn. He's just following the rules. 

Definitely, and I also don´t like the YDC trying to take away techniques seeming unbecoming to a certain rank. However, I am not sure if Hakuho always follows the spirit of said rules, which might be a reason he gets critized by the YDC . Just a gai-jin thought, though...

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1 hour ago, Gospodin said:

Definitely, and I also don´t like the YDC trying to take away techniques seeming unbecoming to a certain rank. However, I am not sure if Hakuho always follows the spirit of said rules, which might be a reason he gets critized by the YDC . Just a gai-jin thought, though...

I think it's deliberate and intelligent strategic move on his part to protect his head.

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I would reckon that appreciation of Abi has grown considerably over the course of the year. His stats tell the story and his performances justify his place in the rankings. 

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Best wrestlers to watch in my opinion: Hakuho, Endo, Okinoumi, Enho, Ishiura, Shohozan. Versatile rikishis, pleasant for the eye and the intellect. I estimate men as Takakeisho or Abi, but these are, apart from their ranks one dimensional fighters, they win a lot but they are so boring. I am an spectator, not a counter of wins, so, I appreciate Rikishis who are able to do different things on the dohyo.

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3 minutes ago, Gabriel said:

Best wrestlers to watch in my opinion: Hakuho, Endo, Okinoumi, Enho, Ishiura, Shohozan. Versatile rikishis, pleasant for the eye and the intellect. I estimate men as Takakeisho or Abi, but these are, apart from their ranks one dimensional fighters, they win a lot but they are so boring. I am an spectator, not a counter of wins, so, I appreciate Rikishis who are able to do different things on the dohyo.

Until this basho I’d have said Ishiura was among the most one-dimensional men in sumo. He’s the king of henka. This time around though he seems to have discovered some new tricks, which I hope is a sign of things to come.

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2 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Until this basho I’d have said Ishiura was among the most one-dimensional men in sumo. He’s the king of henka. This time around though he seems to have discovered some new tricks, which I hope is a sign of things to come.

I am new in sumo, but, it seems to me that in this basho he has performed a lot of techniques. He tried a henka in Kotoshokigu match, but it was a mistake, in my opinion, because in todays condition, he could beat kotoshokigu doing real sumo. 

I would also like to collect some opinion about Takakeisho against Abi. I think Takakeisho lose because he was convinced that Abi was going to do a henka, so he stand up very slow and very high.

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Asanoyama gino-sho, Daieisho shukun-sho IMHO. Don't really see anybody else that warrants recognition.

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5 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Hakuho was on a mission in this tournament.  At times it wasn't pretty, but he was all business, and did what he needed to do to get the job done.  Throughout this tournament, you could see just how focused he was.

First, he broke his own record and registered his 43rd Top Division championship.  Second, he secured his first championship in the new Reiwa era.  Third, he won his first championship as a Japanese citizen.  And fourth, he got his second championship this year, being the only wrestler to get two championships in 2019 – reminding everyone that his dominance is still somewhat intact.

So he will go into 2020 feeling confident that his presence in competitive sumo is still valid and he is still relevant.  #theGOATrules

2 or 3 years ago many were suspicious that he will be still on the banzuke by Tokyo Olympic. Now I believe he will continue to be the best rikishi for at least 2 more years. Reaching his makuuchi yusho number 50 is not impossible. 

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49 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

Asanoyama gino-sho, Daieisho shukun-sho IMHO. Don't really see anybody else that warrants recognition.

I'm inclined to agree with your predictions and overall assessment.  

I would, however, say that Daieisho's shukun-sho might be conditional on his winning on the final day.  His wins against both Sekiwake add to his being qualified, however, Tochinoshin was never really in this tournament, and Mitakeumi was still in shock from the gash he received just a day before he had to fight Daieisho.  So an 8-7 record may weaken his chances.

How do you view the difference between Ginosho-worthy performances and Kantosho-worthy performances?  I know that having a varied roster of kimarite on your card doesn't necessarily guarantee a Technique Prize, but every so often it does.  And does the Fighting Spirit Prize reward wresters who give their all in each bout, win or lose, or does it tend to go to records with 10 wins or more?

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

Asanoyama gino-sho, Daieisho shukun-sho IMHO. Don't really see anybody else that warrants recognition.

Shodai is at 10 wins at the moment and faces Asanoyama on the final day. I imagine he'd get the kanto-sho if he wins. 

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

Asanoyama gino-sho, Daieisho shukun-sho IMHO. Don't really see anybody else that warrants recognition.

Ishiura? Gino-sho?

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19 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

2 or 3 years ago many were suspicious that he will be still on the banzuke by Tokyo Olympic. Now I believe he will continue to be the best rikishi for at least 2 more years. Reaching his makuuchi yusho number 50 is not impossible. 

While on paper you may be right, I am not sure Hakuho himself necessarily has the desire to put in the work necessary to perform at the high level that his rank demands for two more years.  And then there is the question of injury.  Over the last few years, Hakuho has been much more injury prone.  

As much as I'd like to be able to see a superstar like him continue to demonstrate his prowess, I believe he will hang up his shimekomi at the end of next year once he presumably breaks Chiyonofuji's record for Top Division championship at the oldest age...  

He hasn't been setting any further goals in public (perhaps he will in his yusho interview tomorrow), and the fact that he has things sort of lined up for becoming a stablemaster suggests to me that he is mentally prepared to start a new phase in his sumo career outside the ring.

Edited by Amamaniac

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24 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

While on paper you may be right, I am not sure Hakuho himself necessarily has the desire to put in the work necessary to perform at the high level that his rank demands for two more years.  And then there is the question of injury.  Over the last few years, Hakuho has been much more injury prone.  

As much as I'd like to be able to see a superstar like him continue to demonstrate his prowess, I believe he will hang up his shimekomi at the end of next year once he presumably breaks Chiyonofuji's record for Top Division championship at the oldest age...  

He hasn't been setting any further goals in public (perhaps he will in his yusho interview tomorrow), and the fact that he has things sort of lined up for becoming a stablemaster suggests to me that he is mentally prepared to start a new phase in his sumo career outside the ring.

You are right in saying that he may not have the mental will to continue after the Olympic,  but I think it largely depends on his health. He did suffer a few injury, such as big toe or small finger or a minor muscle tear, clearly, none was serious. Also, I don't see any one in the current banzuke can challenge him although he has passed his peak years ago. 

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24 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

You are right in saying that he may not have the mental will to continue after the Olympic,  but I think it largely depends on his health. He did suffer a few injury, such as big toe or small finger or a minor muscle tear, clearly, none was serious. Also, I don't see any one in the current banzuke can challenge him although he has passed his peak years ago. 

Agreed, and it's really sad. Old, tired, bruised, battered, hurting, limping Hakuho (you know, the guy that's only vaguely resembling the GOAT-Hakuho from 2010-2015) is still better than anyone on banzuke when healthy enough to compete.

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As much as I would have loved for Mitakeumi to take that win, it was all but a foregone conclusion that he would not. Not this basho. Sotogake. Problem solved. 

Luckily, we had some more entertaining stuff elsewhere. I enjoyed Ishiura and Enho's wins (I did not expect Enho to manage Terutsuyoshi today, so that was especially exciting). 

So, Nishikigi is going to juryo, right? Here's a song, sung to the tune of "Here's to the State of Mississippi" 

"Here's to the fans you've torn out the heart of

Nishikigi go find yourself a new division to be part of!"

Phil Ochs fans, high five! No? Ok... [No disrespect intended to Nishikigi or his fans. His name just happens to fit neatly into the rhythm.]

Edited by Dwale
Explanation
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3 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

I would, however, say that Daieisho's shukun-sho might be conditional on his winning on the final day. His wins against both Sekiwake add to his being qualified

The only condition for the shukun-sho is 8 wins with win(s) against the top: 1 against the already known yusho winner is alone a 100% guarantee for it, if no-one else eligible won against him - and the yusho winner himself isn't eligible for this sansho. Other wins against sekiwake don't count (except maybe to decide who of 2 equally eligible gets it) - only those against yokozuna and ozeki are shukun wins - and have a shukun interview.

Edited by Akinomaki
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6 hours ago, maorencze said:

Oh boy, such fun! Mitakeumi, Daieisho and Endo just must win tomorrow! Let's make this banzuke great again! :-D Yaaaay!

Interesting selection.  Daieisho has his KK, but an extra win wouldn't hurt his cause for sanyaku promotion.  Endo is 7-7, so ideally an 8th win would secure his sanyaku status for the second time in a row.

But what about Mitakeumi?  Finishing with a 7-8 record would probably keep him in the sanyaku (i.e., probably down to Komusubi).  But, what would happen if he finishes with a 6-9 record?  From a cursory look over past banzukes, a 6-9 record at Sekiwake tends to drop the wrestler back down to the Makuuchi joi ranks.  

Will Abi spoil Mitakeumi's chances of breaking Wakanosato's sanyaku streak record?  With his 17-tournament streak, Mitakeumi is just two tournaments away from tying the record, and three away from breaking it!  Not that that is necessarily a record that one wants to hold, but falling short at this point would really make Mitakeumi's year end on a sour note...

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9 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Enho keeps his kachikoshi hopes alive going into final day. The schedule isn’t up yet, so I’ve no idea who he faces for it. Possible Darwin match options (at the time of writing) include Kotoyuki and Tamawashi.

Looks like they are going with Daieisho.  They are certainly not going easy on Hakuho's star deshi.  Sigh.

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7 hours ago, Houmanumi said:

What have we got... a demoted Mitakeumi, safe Abi, Daieisho 8-6 from M1, Endo 7-7.

If Mitakeumi loses to to Abi tomorrow (which is 50/50) he could be bypassing komusubi and landing at M1-2.

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3 hours ago, maorencze said:

Agreed, and it's really sad. Old, tired, bruised, battered, hurting, limping Hakuho (you know, the guy that's only vaguely resembling the GOAT-Hakuho from 2010-2015) is still better than anyone on banzuke when healthy enough to compete.

Let's not forget that in the 12 tournaments of 2018/2019 he fully competed in only 6 of them, realistically getting his KK 6 times out 12. So while the likes of Takayasu and Tochinoshin have to destroy their bodies to keep their career going, Hakuho can atleast modestly heal up and not aggravate existing injuries. And I'm not arguing that he's older, weaker and more fragile now, but he's using what he's got to the best effect and makes good use of his status.

On a personal note I didn't like his sumo this basho at all. It was efficient and brutal but made the musubi no ichiban a chore to watch. I'm glad Asanoyama and the other Komusubi have shown exciting and spectacular Sumo this basho.

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11 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Abi forfeited all respect with SNS. At least Daieisho  should now get some.

I don't think a single sumo fan anywhere in the world (I was referring to them ) gives a crap about Abi's SNS shenanigans. He just doesn't get respect period. How many rikishi got KK in their first three sanyaku outings?  The only ones that cared about his SNS tomfoolery were the usual gang of old farts shaking in their collective politically correct  boots with their hysterical exaggerated knee-jerk reactions. 

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Sotogake, what a fine movement to secure the yusho. Hakuho is still the alpha leader, the rest can only hope to snatch a championship when he is injured.  

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11 hours ago, maorencze said:

Well, it seems that lower sanyaku is his ceiling (single digit KKs and somehow even this looks difficult for him), and such guys never get enough respect - I don't get why so, to hold onto such a position for mupltiple tournaments of KK is a prized achievement in it's own right.

And to think Abi is only 25yrs old, who knows where his record might stand in 10yrs!

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on the bolded (although I realize your post is basically praising him, not criticizing him).

To flip it around, how many new Sanyaku rikishi have never has a losing record once reaching that level, and how did they fare in their careers moving forward? (I don't know the answer to this but it would be interesting to see.)

I believe Abi has a legitimate equity for reaching Ozeki, particularly given the current sumo landscape.

Whether he does or not remains to be seen, but as you indicated, he's still only 25, he's added quite a bit of size and strength this year without losing his quickness, and he's been winning throughout his career (4 lower-division yusho). There's no evidence at this point to suggest he won't continue to progress. 

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