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Day 11 out and the COVID more and more in. Seven stables out, including Sadogatake. Seriously, are they letting the show going on without a stable with three Maakuchi wrestlers? In general, we are down to... 35/42 Maakuchi wrestlers, if I did my math correctly. That's 16% of the main division. I wonder how many will be left by Day 15.

Back to the tournament, Terunofuji and Ichinojo remain sole leaders. Among their pursuers perhaps we should start to notice a hungry, angry Hamster. Takakeisho is just one loss out of sync and is almost surely going to face Terunofuji. He only needs to win against the Yokozuna and wait for Ichinojo to drop one, then he caught them. He must fend off Shodai first, however. Whelp, it seems almost like we suddenly have two powerful Ozeki up there.

The Sekiwake on the other hand look very bad. Wakatakakage just lost a match he had to win. Now he needs two wins to get KK and 99% he has to get at least one against Shodai, Takakeisho, or Terunofuji. Good riddance. Tomorrow he will be against Okinoumi (3-0). Please just win, Waka. Daieisho is pretty much on the same boat and will face Terunofuji tomorrow (5-7 for the Yokozuna). Not 100% sure for which of them this is bad news.

In short, the yusho race is pretty much open despite all the defections. That's very unfortunate that Kotonowaka is out, he was prospected to end up very well. Anyhow, Ichinojo remains my personal favorite for the win. He has already faced the Three Big Guns (Terunofuji - won, Takakeisho - won; Shodai - lost, damn him) and has just to fend off the lower joy. Tomorrow he's vs. Tobizaru, against him he has a meager 2-4 record. But 'Nojo is more 'Nojo than ever, so you never know.

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2 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Two fusensho in a row is a quite unusual sight, I don't remember having seen that.

As far as I can tell, today was the first time it happened twice.

The last singular instance was here.
(...and 22 times before by my count)

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Hankegami said:

Day 11 out and the COVID more and more in. Seven stables out, including Sadogatake. Seriously, are they letting the show going on without a stable with three Maakuchi wrestlers? In general, we are down to... 35/42 Maakuchi wrestlers, if I did my math correctly. That's 16% of the main division. I wonder how many will be left by Day 15.

 

As long as we don't reach the levels of Hatsu 2021. That started with 35 wrestlers, and had 34 by this point of the basho, with 2 jūryō wrestlers needing to be brought in on senshūraku to pad the torikumi (and probably for exchange reasons too; I can't be arsed to look up the specific bouts). So as long as we don't lose, I dunno, three more stables, we might just survive this basho, but it'd be a farce if any more of the leaders get forcibly benched.

Wakatakakage only needs one win to preserve sanyaku, and his and Daieishō's scores look reasonable to do the same. Abi is the one in greatest danger, and also the one whose sumo is the flakiest of the four; Ichinojō is probably going to take over his slot. So sanyaku next basho is probably Ichinojō, Hōshōryū, Wakatakakage and Daieishō in some order, barring some horrendous collapse by any of the incumbents.

Ichinojō meanwhile will be serving sanyaku duty early, since he's probably the one culling the 3-loss pack without having to screw with the actual sanyaku matchups. That said, Mitakeumi's withdrawal gives them some space to play with in the event that they do get past Ichinojō.

What's more likely to happen is that the intra-sanyaku matches may well end up knocking all but one of them out of the yūshō race, or else hand it to Ichinojō on a silver platter. We shall see. Terunofuji still has it in control, but as you said suddenly the two ōzeki look really good.

Edited by Seiyashi
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3 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

What's more likely to happen is that the intra-sanyaku matches may well end up knocking all but one of them out of the yūshō race, or else hand it to Ichinojō on a silver platter. We shall see. Terunofuji still has it in control, but as you said suddenly the two ōzeki look really good.

Despite a fairly slow start with 2-2 by Day 4, Takakeisho is still very much in this yusho race.

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Well the Sadogatake Covid-kyujo denied me my daily dose of Kotoeko entertainment. The NSK must realise by now that coronavirus is endemic and whole-heya withdrawals are unnecessary. The policy should end, not the basho.

Tobizaru provided a very entertaining bout today, even though he lost. I can't figure out his style: it seems so haphazard, yet his continued presence in the upper half of the maegashira proves it's effective.

Shodai is one win away from clearing kadoban... and looks likely to have a say in the yusho race!

That was Hoshoryu's best effort against Terunofuji so far. The tipping point can't be far away now.

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I think the best way to describe Kinbozan's current Sumo is that it looks like the Sumo of someone who was a san'yaku mainstay and dropped down to the unpaid ranks because of injury/suspension and reaching the 2nd division is only a formality on the way back to their old rank.

He looks that much in control and that much out of place in makushita.

I'm definitely going to continue rooting for him as a sekitori.

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Really, no one feeling TNY Shōdai? :-D

Godawful tachiai aside, you could also say he took it and then dealt it. Endō got handled like a rag doll once he failed to finish Shōdai off.

Regarding Endo, and this is not a comment on his efforts today but more generally, I haven't really seen him as a joi-level rikishi since I started watching sumo almost a year-and-a-half ago. I don't know if he was considered more technically gifted prior to this era... I know he's very well liked in Japan... but I've found his sumo generally uninspiring for the ranks he has had in this time, and I've been surprised that he manages to eek out the scores he does to keep rank.

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1 minute ago, Yarimotsu said:
1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Really, no one feeling TNY Shōdai? :-D

Godawful tachiai aside, you could also say he took it and then dealt it. Endō got handled like a rag doll once he failed to finish Shōdai off.

Regarding Endo, and this is not a comment on his efforts today but more generally, I haven't really seen him as a joi-level rikishi since I started watching sumo almost a year-and-a-half ago. I don't know if he was considered more technically gifted prior to this era... I know he's very well liked in Japan... but I've found his sumo generally uninspiring for the ranks he has had in this time, and I've been surprised that he manages to eek out the scores he does to keep rank.

Funnily enough I feel the same. I started watching well after the initial hype over him (and Mitakeumi and Ichinojō, who also both came in at about the same time with zanbara) was over, and it was clear after his injury that he would never be consistent again. That said, he's probably one of the best spoilers in the top division whenever he's in the joi without being a yūshō candidate himself, so his bouts are always fairly impactful.

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A bit late, but here's some interesting long gaps this basho.

Nionoumi v Jokoryu on Day 10 was the first time they met since 2012, during better days for both men in Juryo.

In contrast, Takakeisho v Wakamotoharu on Day 9 was their first meeting since 2015, back in Sandanme. Who would've thought back then they would be at the top of the banzuke in the future?

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Chiyomaru´s left leg really put up a nice resistance effort against Terutstuyoshi :-P

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Interesting match between Hoshuryu and Terunofuji. Hosh got closer than ever before but still not that close. All that spinning was entertaining but as long as Terunofuji had that death grip with his left hand Hosh was toast.

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Was wondering if a leg pick by Hoshoryu might have worked while he had him close and off balance.

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2 hours ago, Jakusotsu said:

Too bad one of these patterns is going to break tomorrow.

I don't play the "Chain Gang Game."  What's the pattern?

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It can be 6 losses then 6 wins for Akua or 4-4-4 for Mitoryu.

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Posted (edited)

A funny thing happened on the way to a fusen in jonokuchi today:

The yobidashi screwed up and displayed the fusenshō banner towards himself, so it appears mirrored since the camera sees the back of it.

Edited by Seiyashi
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Kakutaiki gets kachi-koshi, having not fought since Day 3.

 

5 hours ago, Jakusotsu said:
8 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Two fusensho in a row is a quite unusual sight, I don't remember having seen that.

As far as I can tell, today was the first time it happened twice.

The last singular instance was here.
(...and 22 times before by my count)


Tomorrow will bring four in a row.

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Posted (edited)

Really enjoyed that effort by Hosh and the resistance of Teru (Applauding...)

And Takakeisho is quietly still in this.....

Edited by Katooshu

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Posted (edited)

At Endo's best he showed flashes of silky smooth yotsu skills, and did just enough to have people thinking that he might one day deliver upon the initial hype. And he's had a very solid career to be fair, being a top division mainstay with many sansho, numerous kinboshi, and multiple sanyaku appearances.

The hype I think was much greater from Japanese sumo fans; at least since I've been watching, which was just after he made makuuchi, he's never been THAT highly rated by Western fans. In fact, if anything I think he became slightly underrated due to the fixation around him not performing at a level consistent with the attention he's received. 

Edited by Katooshu
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Endo always makes me remember Takanowaka - yet another legend sewn around an injury presumably preventing a big career.

(...not quite as hyped, and not quite as successful initially, but still...)

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I'm rooting for Takakeisho, because we need some wild yokozuna promotion speculation between basho. 

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1 minute ago, Benevolance said:

I'm rooting for Takakeisho, because we need some wild yokozuna promotion speculation between basho. 

I'm rooting for Shōdai, for the same reason. (Dribbling...)

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11-4 has not historically meant anything for a Yokozuna run.  I recall someone saying long ago that Musashimaru's 11-4 Yusho did not make him tsunatori.  If he had gone 15-0 the next basho that might have been backtracked, but he didn't.  That was a time when 2 straight yusho were required though, and I think the point was that the 11-4 didn't really count for that.  There also were two good Yokozuna in their prime, and they didn't need another one who barely got there based on weak yusho.  I certainly imagine that the criteria will be looser than then, but I don't think 11-4 will count for anything at all even if it is the best in a given tournament, especially this one.

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There would be an exception made for a Shodai 11-4 miracle yusho surely.

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Posted (edited)

Nah. Maybe a 11-4 Y can tip the scales in favour of yūshō equivalents but it sounds about right that it doesn't count for anything by itself. Like maybe it fortifies a 12-3D or something in a 11-4Y, 14-1Y, 12-3D sequence, but it's too cheap to trigger tsunatori on its own. 

And considering it's Shōdai we're talking about, I can see everyone being more rather than less reluctant to give him the rope. He would be an absolute disaster if he repeated the performance of the past few basho as a yokozuna. 

Edited by Seiyashi

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