2021 "Kozumo" Hatsu Basho discussion thread

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Ozeki Watch for day 9

There were two "upsets" today.  That of Takakeisho constituted a silver star for M4w rank-and-filer, Tamawashi, and that of Shodai against Komusubi Mitakeumi was just a ... travesty.

First up tomorrow will be Shodai against aforementioned Tamawashi.  This could spell trouble for Waka III's yusho pick for two reasons: (1) Shodai just had the wind taken out of his sails today, and (2) Tamawashi actually has a better record (9-5) against the Ozeki.  Will we be treated to a vital win for the only Ozeki still somewhat in the yusho race, or will we be treated to more disappointment?  One of Shodai's weaknesses is mental fortitude (or should I say self-confidence?).  Tamawashi on the other hand seems to have no trouble with focus.  Unless Shodai can come up with a resourceful save at the bales tomorrow, I fear his yusho hopes in this tournament will be firmly put to rest.

Next, Takakeisho will face Endo.  Today, a somewhat struggling Asanoyama showed that Endo can and should be beaten by an Ozeki.  But Asanoyama is no Takakeisho, and vis-versa.  So what do the "data" say?  Past meetings have definitely favoured Takakeisho, 7-2.  The mini tank has dispatched Endo in their last five straight meetings.  I'm not sure Endo can remember back to September 2019 when last he defeated the then-sekitori who had leapfrogged him on the banzuke.  But will whatever's ailing Takakeisho this tournament result in yet another surprise loss?  The odds are definitely good on that possibility.

In the last bout of the day tomorrow, Asanoyama will be tested by former Ozeki, Takayasu.  Surprisingly, these two wrestlers have only met (...sort of) twice in the past.  Actually, Asanoyama has never beaten the man-bear and recent father, because in their most recent scheduled bout, Takayasu ended up withdrawing giving Asanoyama a freebie.  So since Asanoyama lacks experience against K1 Takayasu and Takayasu showed some gutsy sumo today, I fear that we might just see yet another upset in this Ozeki bout.

I realise that none of the above predictions carry much water, but the way that the three current Ozeki have been fighting in this tournament, each of their bouts seem possible to go either way...  The real shame is that Covid has put the kibosh on the purple shower tradition!

Edited by Amamaniac

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As someone who landed on his head a few times during sports a few years ago, the way Akua got spiked was really scary to me. I hope he is alright. 

Takakeisho seems to try and go as long as the KK is still possible, but if that 8th L drops, I expect him to pull out. Whatever it is, something is wrong with him. 

Daieisho seemed shaky for the very first time, convincing me that the Yusho race is still wide open. Well, back to the weekly grind. 

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If I'm not mistaken, Daieisho is only the fourth joi maegashira ever to start 8-0 for a straight kachikoshi. The others were Akinoshima in Haru 1992 (only 3 sanyaku opponents though, out of eventually 5), later ozeki Masuiyama in Natsu 1974 (5 sanyaku out of 8), and later yokozuna Akinoumi in Natsu 1939 (5 sanyaku out of 7).

(And it's the second time after that 1939 tournament that there's simultaneously an 0-8 starter among the maegashira-joi. That was actually what I originally set out to find, thinking there would be a lot more 8-0's...)

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7 hours ago, since_94 said:

He was totally in control throughout. So poised. Textbook worthy sumo.

I'm sorry, but what was he in control of? Being pushed back to the bales and barely escaping a loss? Daieisho simply got lucky this time. No way he's gonna zensho. 

Akua falling on his head got me really worried for him for a moment. Fortunately rikishi mostly know how to fall. 

And was it just me who found Furiwake-oyakata squinting at the rikishi from the shimpan seat absolutely hilarious? I think Kintamayama once mentioned he's blind as a bat so not sure why they thought he would make a great shimpan. 

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