Kintamayama

March basho 2021

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Posted (edited)

Regardless of the outcome of this monoii, Wakatakakage’s balance on the bales to avoid push out by a charging Takanosho was something amazing to watch. Ok, Torinaoshi. I can live with this.

Edited by since_94
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The most shocking thing about that call was that the gyoji was still in his original spot when he guessed who had stepped out across the dohyo.  Konosuke at least moved and got a good look before getting confused about who started where.

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Posted (edited)

Great upper-body strength from Terunofuji. The march to 10+ begins.

Edited by Eikokurai

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Lovely defence and counter by Terunofuji. Looking really good for that Ozeki return.

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1 minute ago, Ichimawashi said:

The most shocking thing about that call was that the gyoji was still in his original spot when he guessed who had stepped out across the dohyo.  Konosuke at least moved and got a good look before getting confused about who started where.

Or got confused over who he should call. Even the NHK replays weren't definitive to Murray Johnson's eye.

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Takakeisho looking good to clear kadoban as well. Fast off the tachiai, straight to the double thrusts.

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Posted (edited)

Curious about Terunofuji’s elbow braces. These supports seem to be the articulated type, basically with what looks like metal splints running down both sides, allowing for the joint to flex while providing support. Much like his knee braces. But those metal parts are essentially hard points that one would think would offer him an unfair advantage, no? For example, a forearm blast from Terunofuji that meant getting slammed across the chin with the metal joint would be all the more devastating, would it not?  I have to question the fairness if worn on the upper body. What do others think?

Edited by since_94

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9 minutes ago, since_94 said:

Curious about Terunofuji’s elbow braces. These supports seem to be the articulated type, basically with what looks like metal splints running down both sides, allowing for the joint to flex while providing support. Much like his knee braces. But those metal parts are essentially hard points that one would think would offer him an unfair advantage, no? For example, a forearm blast from Terunofuji that meant getting slammed across the chin with the metal joint would be all the more devastating, would it not?  I have to question the fairness if worn on the upper body. What do others think?

I think in the absence of forearm blasts, it's a non-issue. I would be more concerned whether it provides an offensive mechanical advantage in locking up a thrust, for example, or bracing for a throw, because any degree of outside mechanical support is an advantage in that situation.

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Just now, Seiyashi said:

I think in the absence of forearm blasts, it's a non-issue. I would be more concerned whether it provides an offensive mechanical advantage in locking up a thrust, for example, or bracing for a throw, because any degree of outside mechanical support is an advantage in that situation.

Fully agree. It’s not cricket.

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Posted (edited)

Who's the guy Daiesho's facing? I don't recognize him.

 

Aw, man ... unconvincing from Hak there.

Edited by Eikokurai

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Not the most elegant of tachiai, but I suppose given Hakuho's been out for so long it's as good as we can get.

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Hm. Involving other guys, there would probably have been a torinaoshi.

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2 minutes ago, Benihana said:

Hm. Involving other guys, there would probably have been a torinaoshi.

I thought so too, but Murray on the NHK broadcast said it was definitive in slow motion, so I guess we'll just have to take his word for it until the replays come out on YT.

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Posted (edited)

People seem to forget that Hakuho has last stepped on the dohyo in July and even though he's the Greatest of all Time, ring rust still applies to him.
Not only that, he faced the strongest rikishi at the moment in Daieisho, who won the last tournament in convincing fashion beating the entire san'yaku corps.
Considering all that, it was a good (and much needed) win for Hakuho in my opinion.

It‘s fascinating to me that some people ostensibly think that a complete obliteration of his opponent is required for it to be a good win.

Hakuho is 36 (!) years old, hasn‘t fought since July, had double knee surgery only a few months prior and had to face the strongest rikishi in the incumbent champion, Daieisho, who, as I mentioned above, dominated the field with his pushing and thrusting, giving many of his opponents no time to react and counter any of his moves.

We saw almost the exact opposite today, Daieisho had no chance to attack and had to resort to a tsukiotoshi move at the bales.

Under all these circumstances it was a good win.

Edited by Hakuryuho
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I thought so too, but Murray on the NHK broadcast said it was definitive in slow motion, so I guess we'll just have to take his word for it until the replays come out on YT.

Seen it on the karlamarxist twitch with abema as source. It's one of that inconsistent dead body decisions. Daieisho was flying, but Hakuho touched down first. Well, i'm not mad, because it picked Hakuho in Toto, so i got that going for me.

Edited by Benihana

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36 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Or got confused over who he should call. Even the NHK replays weren't definitive to Murray Johnson's eye.

Definitely a difficult call for poor Konosuke!  He did not have a clear view of the wrestlers' toes on the far side of the tawara bales, especially since he was behind both wrestlers.  

Watching the Abema replay, Okinoumi's right foot clearly slips out and scatters the janome sand.  The question was whether Tamawashi's right big toe pressed down on the janome just before that.  Shimpancho Nishikido did have a better view than Konosuke with regard to the toes, and so I am willing to accept the monoii decision.  But a torinaoshi call would have made me happy too. ;-)

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15 minutes ago, Hakuryuho said:

People seem to forget that Hakuho has last stepped on the dohyo in July and even though he's the Greatest of all Time, ring rust still applies to him.
Not only that, he faced the strongest rikishi at the moment in Daieisho, who won the last tournament in convincing fashion beating the entire san'yaku corps.
Considering all that, it was a good (and much needed) win for Hakuho in my opinion.

Do people forget that?

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1 minute ago, Eikokurai said:
17 minutes ago, Hakuryuho said:

People seem to forget that Hakuho has last stepped on the dohyo in July and even though he's the Greatest of all Time, ring rust still applies to him.
Not only that, he faced the strongest rikishi at the moment in Daieisho, who won the last tournament in convincing fashion beating the entire san'yaku corps.
Considering all that, it was a good (and much needed) win for Hakuho in my opinion.

Do people forget that?

I'd say it was much needed but I don't know if I'd agree it was a good win. Yes, he may be the GOAT but this isn't the case of coming back from an injury in his prime. He's clearly in his twilight and everyone knows it, himself included, especially after the release of two key pieces of information about him before the basho. First, that he's acquired a kabu (which is a clear prelude to retirement even if not an immediate harbinger). Second, that he can't do a "regular" (i.e. non-harite) tachiai without injuring his knee further - this from the documentary that just aired. And there's also the COVID consequence of a loss in stamina that will tell in longer bouts.

I agree with Eikokurai; I don't think people have forgotten that he's been MIA for a very long time, and hence are willing to forgive a certain amount of ring rust. My issue with his performance today is that Hakuho broke out the harite tachiai, and still didn't dominate from start to finish. So he's gone back to his "win at all costs mentality" and still failed to utterly crush all opposition. That's more worrying than ring rust alone because it implies his sumo has regressed to a point of greater vulnerability against the rest of the sanyaku, who are all to a man looking quite good this tournament.

It's an open question whether just getting rid of the ring rust in the course of the basho is enough to get him back over that hump, or whether we are going to see another mid tournament kyujo. My gut feel is that Hakuho will want to stick this tournament out, but I don't have high hopes for the aesthetics of his sumo in that case.

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Posted (edited)

Hakuho changed his shitakubeya preparation ritual today. You could see Kasugaryu provided him a bowl of something for him to put his head into. Some speculated that it could ammonia which boxers use to keep themselves up. Any change of routine is certainly a cause of concern - he did not have a convincing win today, but it's good to see that even last basho's yusho winner could not mount any offensive strike against him. 

Shodai's high tachiai knocked him off balance at the tachiai initially. While he was able to recover quickly and gain a solid grip, he lost that grip due to Mitakumi's clever manoeuvring. A furious Mitakeumi railroaded Shodai, as he had done last basho. Mitakeumi's hot when he hot, but when he's not is definitely not. Let's hope he does not crumble in the second half. 

Takarafuji allowed Asanoyama to get his favourite right grip on the belt, and from then on it was simple. Step to the side and throw him down. Takarafuji does not seem to be on great form today, and thus I do not think he will win against Hakuho tomorrow, but we shall see. 

Takakeisho looking excellent today, preventing Onosho from mounting any offensive, even managing to turn him on his back, pushing him out. I predict he will clear kadoban with great ease - the weight loss has certainly done him some good. 

Hokutofuji mounted a more calm and considered offensive against Terunofuji. With a well-placed nodowa, the former Ozeki staggered back momentarily. However, when Terunofuji got the right grip, it was all over for Hokutofuji. He should focus on avoiding Terunofuji's chest next time and ensuring a larger distance between the two. As Murray stated, Hokutofuji's new belt techniques allowed him to mount a better defensive against Terunofuji the last time, but it is still nowhere on the level of the former Ozeki. Thus, he should avoid it. 

Lucky break for Takanosho. Wakatakakage demonstrated good tawara technique preventing a clear decision the first go, but he was soundly defeated by Takanosho the second time. Is that Konosuke changing his decision? I've never seen that before, but glad it ended in a torinaoshi for him anyways. His record still stays clean. 

Meisei v. Takayasu was one of the more interesting matches today. Takayasu has great bulk and strength, but still lacks dohyo-intelligence, which perhaps cannot be taught, even by Araiso. He was flipped at the tawara by Meisei's superior technique. It's a solid win for Meisei. 

One of the best bouts today in my opinion was Shimanoumi v. Kiribayama. The former is experiencing a late career resurgence, and demonstrated outstanding fighting spirit today. Despite being historically a mostly-oshi rikishi, he kept his head in the Mongolian's chest, thus taking advantage of Kiribayama's inferior physical strength or insufficient yotsu technique from mounting any offensive or meaningful defensive. Kiribayama attempted to separate the two, but just as he was about to throw Shimanoumi off the tawara, a well-placed separation restarted the bout, leaving a tired Kiribayama no choice but to be shoved off the dohyo. 

Bottom-grade tachiai from Endo today. He was knocked off balance and proved easy pickings for Myogiryu. 

In an attempt to unbalance his aite with his famous nodowa, Tamawashi unbalanced himself on the tawara, thus allowing the very experienced Okinoumi to shift to the side and push him out. Props to Okinoumi's fantastic footwork as well. 

Ichinojo caught Tochinoshin on the back foot from the get-go. Hence, when the former Ozeki lost his balance, he was easily tossed. 

Hoshoryu lost by HNH against Midorifuji today. I wouldn't go into Asashoryu's Twitter at the moment, if I were you. 

Fantastic forward facing sumo from Kagayaki, Chiyonokuni, Yutakayama and especially Kotoeko. Akiseyama also showing his great experience - Kotoshoho was unwise to allow his a belt grip when already on the tawara. Great throws by Aoiyama too. 

Enho is looking back on his game. Chiyonoo was completely bamboozled by his speed and technique, allowing himself to be soundly defeated by Enho's now signature tachiai. It's been a long time since Enho's had a shoinichi win and it's very difficult to predict his performance as he always scores near the margin. But if he keeps this up, he'll be back to Makuuchi in no time at all. 

Shikoroyama promised that we'd see a new Abi. And that we saw today, defeating his aite with a... uwatenage??? He may be even more dangerous that ever before. If he keeps this up, he might be in salaried ranks by Aki.

Bonus

Oh dear. Oh my. 

 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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Posted (edited)

On the first day of this tournament, Hakuho was dealing not only with ring rust, but also apparent back issues (n.b., two shiny patches on his shoulders – pre-bout acupuncture treatment?).  No doubt he did his homework on his opponent, and realised that he couldn't allow Daieisho to establish his pushing/thrusting game.  Therefore, he decided to go for broke with a straight on charge.  That was definitely a risky move, but it ended up paying off.  Daieisho tried valiantly to counter Hakuho's charge and almost succeeded in redirecting it.  It seemed as though Hakuho's left arm was lacking his youthful strength, and he just barely managed to keep Daieisho in front of him.  

Not exactly a good win, and Hakuho's <100% arm strength (further highlighted by the dual supporters) is an early source of concern IMHO.

Edited by Amamaniac

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I do not think Hakuho will win this tournament. He'd be lucky to finish it, and if so, I predict a 10-5 or 11-4. This is certainly more exciting from last basho, where to me at least, the yusho winner (Daieisho) was rather clear. 

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2 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Hakuho changed his shitakubeya preparation ritual today. You could see Kasugaryu provided him a bowl of something for him to put his head into. Some speculated that it could ammonia which boxers use to keep themselves up. Any change of routine is certainly a cause of concern - he did not have a convincing win today, but it's good to see that even last basho's yusho winner could not mount any offensive strike against him. 

Actually, he's been doing the bowl thing for quite a while now (several tournaments before he went on his prolonged kyujo...).

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12 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Bonus

Oh dear. Oh my

Oooohhhhh

We’ll gonna see kyujo announcement from him soon

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18 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Shikoroyama promised that we'd see a new Abi. And that we saw today, defeating his aite with a... uwatenage??? He may be even more dangerous that ever before. If he keeps this up, he might be in salaried ranks by Natsu. 

I'd say that is wishful thinking.  He is currently ranked Ms56w.  Even a division yusho would not get him all the way back to Juryo.  Perhaps you meant to say "after Natsu"?  

But if he doesn't make his way back to the Makushita joi ranks on the Natsu banzuke, then the odds of a post-Natsu return to Juryo would be slim to none.  Correct me if I'm wrong about that...

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It's good to see Hakuho back and I hope he will make it through the whole Basho. That being said, it wasn't a clear victory to me, I'd have hoped for at least a monoii. 

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