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Nagoya Day 4: Hakuho, Baruto, Harumafuji remain atop
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki veterans Baruto and Harumafuji dominated their matches to remain unbeaten July 11 at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, but ozekis Kisenosato and Kakuryu stumbled to big upsets.
Hakuho isn't known for letting rising stars get the better of him, and he was flawless in putting No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama onto the dirt. The yokozuna hit him hard at the face-off, and although Aoiyama survived that clash, he was off balance just enough for Hakuho to grab him from the neck and send him stumbling forward and down to defeat.
Harumafuji nailed Mongolian compatriot Kyokutenho--the defending champion--with his trademark thrusts and slaps, then settled into a grappling pose. As soon as Kyokutenho lightened his grip, Harumafuji upended him at the center of the ring with an "uwate-nage,'' or over-handed throw.
Though he took the title with 12 wins in May, Kyokutenho hasn't won a bout this time around. He is fighting as a maegashira No. 1.
Also unbeaten, Baruto put the pressure on sekiwake Goeido right from the start and refused to let him get inside. The Estonian used his powerful arms to drive Goeido back and finished him off with a solid left to the chest. When he gets his feet and arms working in unison, Baruto is almost too big to beat. So far, he is fighting at his own pace and is performing quite well.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku dove in with both arms to get at No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi's belt. After his loss the day before to Aoiyama, the ozeki looked determined to get the upper hand and he used the belt deftly, pushing Okinoumi back to the edge and twisting to the left and right until he was off balance and could no longer hold his ground. Okinoumi has yet to win a match, but all of his opponents so far have been ozeki, so he has easier days ahead.
Ozeki Kotooshu easily overpowered maegashira No. 3 Shohozan, who is no match in size and skill for the experienced, though sometimes inconsistent, Bulgarian. Shohozan jumped into a quick attack, but Kotooshu absorbed it and moved forward without batting an eye. Kotooshu has one loss, while Shohozan is 1-3.
Things didn't go so well for Kakuryu and Kisenosato.
Kakuryu, of Mongolia, lost his second bout in a row as komusubi Toyonoshima took him head-on and unleashed a series of potent thrusts. Kakuryu was once again not fighting with much of a spark. His slaps were off target and he was standing too high to get any solid forward momentum.
Kisenosato, meanwhile, found himself on the receiving end of a skillful attack by top maegashira Aminishiki.
Aminishiki flew out from the face-off and thrust the ozeki to the rim. Kisenosato tried to twist out of the line of fire but brushed his right foot in the dirt outside the edge as Aminishiki was still in the clear. It was so close even the referee had to think about it for a moment, but in the video replay Aminishiki was clearly the victor.
"I wanted to get a good hit at the start,'' Aminishiki said, adding that he was prepared to lose--though he was happy to have marked a big win.
New komusubi Myogiryu thrust sekiwake Tochiozan down at the last minute, just as he was also going backward and out of the ring. It was also a close one, and Tochiozan at first clearly thought he had won. But his knee hit first, and the referee made the call without any objections from ringside.
Myogiryu, who beat Kakuryu on July 10, is 2-2, and Tochiozan 1-3.
I'd like to see Baruto have a run at yokozuna promotion.
Wonder who the surprise package will be this time?
Chiyotairyu seems quite promising - trained by Kokonoe Oyakata.
Nagoya Day 5: Yokozuna Hakuho and 2 ozeki share the lead
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Yokozuna Hakuho and the ozeki duo of Baruto and Harumafuji continued to set the pace at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament with their fifth wins on July 12.
Hakuho sent a dazed and confused Myogiryu to the dirt at center ring after the new komusubi tried to put together a thrusting attack that the yokozuna was just not buying.
Myogiryu managed to score one good slap after the face-off but lost his balance. Hakuho got a hold on the back of his opponent's neck and forced him to touch his hand to the ground to keep from falling.
Unbeaten Baruto easily bulled top maegashira Aminishiki from the ring. Baruto wasn't as convincing as he might have been, but Aminishiki is a notoriously tough opponent, and the Estonian was wise to be cautious and powerful when he found his opening.
Mongolia's Harumafuji drove out No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi to keep his record clean and build up a little more momentum. He is always a question mark and often loses bouts that are crucial early on. If he can get over that, though, he could be factor in the tournament.
One loss back, Kotooshu turned in a strong performance against No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama, methodically breaking down his opponent's defenses until he had both hands on the belt. As Kotooshu moved forward, Aoiyama's left foot slipped out from under him and he tumbled onto his back.
Solid as ever, ozeki Kisenosato sent komusubi Toyonoshima over the edge with a classic hit-and-drive strategy. He has just one loss, marked on July 11 to Aminishiki. Toyonoshima has been struggling. He lost his first three matches, then beat Kakuryu before his loss on July 11.
Also at 4-1, Kotoshogiku handed top maegashira Kyokutenho, the defending champion, his fifth consecutive loss. Kotoshogiku, who lost his third-day match to Aoiyama, was in control all the way, and used a good, low center of gravity to power his thrust-and-push attack.
Kakuryu had another tough day as No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu pegged him with several thrusts to the throat. The attacks stopped Kakuryu cold, and he had to fight hard to keep from being driven out. Kakuryu came back with a last-ditch throw that sent both wrestlers to the dirt.
The referee ruled it in Wakakoyu's favor, but the judges overturned that decision and gave Kakuryu the win. He's 3-2 and Wakakoyu is 2-3.
Sekiwake Goeido used a beltless arm throw to topple Tochiozan, who is also at sekiwake ranking. The win brings Goeido up to 3-2, while Tochiozan still has only one win.
Rank and file wresters Daido and Chiyotairyu also remained undefeated.
No major upsets to report today!
Nope...status quo, so far!!
Day 5 update!
Just four left undefeated after day 6!
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Mrs. JR Ewing (07-15-2012)
Nagoya Day 6: Only four undefeated rikishi left
Friday, 13 July 2012
Yokozuna Hakuho nailed down another impressive win July 13 at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament as ozeki rivals Baruto and Harumafuji slipped by their opponents to also remain undefeated after six days.
Hakuho had absolutely no problem showing No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi to the exit. The yokozuna, who is coming off his worst performance at the top rank the last time out, blazed forward and Okinoumi (0-6) had no choice but to retreat.
Unbeaten Baruto presented No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu with several openings as he struggled to unleash an effective thrusting attack, but jumped back at just the right instant to claim the win. Wakakoyu had lunged at him, and the Estonian somehow managed to lift his own bulky body off the ground and out of the fray.
Harumafuji took a less flamboyant tack than usual in his bout against sekiwake Goeido, and it nearly cost him. As he and the sekiwake grappled for advantage, Goeido twisted him into a throw. But Harumafuji shifted his center of gravity just in time to send Goeido crashing to the dirt first.
Despite one slip-up at the edge, Kisenosato (5-1) dominated No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama (1-5) all the way in their match. Both wrestlers looked slow as they traded thrusts, but the ozeki had a bit more power and kept on the offensive. In the end, Aoiyama seemed to give up and stepped backward and out.
Kotoshogiku overcame a good fight by No. 3 maegashira Shohozan, who drove the ozeki back to the edge and nearly upended him before succumbing to a superior belt-hold. The deciding factor was Kotoshogiku's right hand, which he finally slipped in after warding off a couple of scares. Though he was able to capitalize on it for the win, it was still a shallow grip.
He is also 5-1, and Shohozan 1-5.
Ozeki Kotooshu kept his winning streak going by taking out sekiwake Tochiozan. After losing on the second day, Kotooshu has been nearly flawless. This bodes well for the Bulgarian, who often drops bouts against his juniors that take him out of contention by the time the tournament really heats up at the end.
Top maegashira Kyokutenho showed his first spark after winning the last tournament in a big surprise to all, but ozeki Kakuryu was able to absorb his attack and turn the tables. Kakuryu is 4-2, but appears to be gaining steam. Kyokutenho has yet to win a match.
Komusubi wrestlers Toyonoshima and Myogiryu paired off, and Myogiryu showed he had the better skills with a winning thrust out.
Nagoya Day 7: Ozeki Kisenosato chalks up second loss
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki-ranked Baruto and Harumafuji won their bouts on July 14 to make it through the first week of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament unbeaten, while ozeki Kisenosato fell to his second defeat.
Hakuho bashed No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu at the face-off, then stepped to the side to reload for a new attack. But before he could even commit to it, Wakakoyu was roaring past him and fell to the ground. The yokozuna hardly broke a sweat.
Baruto unleashed a beautiful uwate-nage, or overhanded throw, that sent No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama flying out of the ring. It was the first time the two Europeans--Baruto is from Estonia and Aoiyama is from Bulgaria--have faced each other, and Baruto pretty clearly showed who is the boss.
Aoiyama, wrestling at his highest rank ever, is 1-6.
Harumafuji had some difficulty executing his attack, but stayed in focus and dropped No. 3 maegashira Shohozan at the edge of the ring to keep his unbeaten record. Though he wasn't especially impressive, he was firmly in control--and that is where he needs to be at this point in the tournament.
Kotoshogiku drove komusubi Toyonoshima out in a lopsided match. Kotoshogiku had more speed coming out, and though he slipped at one point, he quickly regained his composure and went right back on the attack. With only one loss, he is in a good position. Toyonoshima is 1-6, and struggling hard.
Bulgaria's Kotooshu deftly bottled up top maegashira Kyokutenho, the defending champion, and eventually lifted him back and over the edge. Kyokutenho, who hasn't won yet, got inside but was unable to do anything with the hold as Kotooshu worked him off balance with a double-handed grip of his own. Kotooshu is also 6-1, his sole loss so far to Goeido.
Kisenosato was the only ozeki loser of the day. He couldn't keep his feet under him after a weak face-off, and sekiwake Goeido moved in nicely to throw him down as he faltered. It was a bad bout all the way through for Kisenosato, and brings him down to 5-2. Goeido is 4-3.
Kakuryu, fighting his second tournament at ozeki, slipped off to his right and sekiwake Tochiozan plopped to the ground immediately after their face-off. Kakuryu needed the win, and got it fair and square, but it is considered bad form for an ozeki to use a trick right off the bat to gain advantage, and he seemed a little embarrassed as he accepted the winning prize after the bout.
Kakuryu is 5-2 and Tochiozan is 1-6.
Komusubi Myogiryu (4-3) sent top maegashira Aminishiki (2-5) out after Aminishiki lost his concentration and started missing his target when he was thrusting. Myogiryu kept up the pressure and won as Aminishiki stumbled to the side.
Kisenosato fell to Goeido, otherwise no major upsets today. Hakuho, Baruto, Harumafuji and Daido still lead.
I'm glad to hear that HAKUHO is surviving!
Originally Posted by Swami
Daido still undefeated...might be something here!
Just two unbeaten after day 8 - Hakuho and Harumafuji! Baruto lost to komusubi Myogiryu!
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Mrs. JR Ewing (07-16-2012)
Nagoya Day 8: Ozeki Baruto falls behind unbeaten Hakuho, Harumafuji
Sunday, 15 July 2012
Estonian ozeki Baruto fell to a big upset on July 15 to drop out of the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, while Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Harumafuji cruised to their eighth wins.
Hakuho had a bit of a scare against sekiwake Tochiozan. Although he dominated the bout, he touched ground at the edge as he pushed Tochiozan out. But, fortunately for the yokozuna, Tochiozan had already planted his right foot outside the ring, so by that time Hakuho had clearly won the bout.
Baruto, the big loser of the day, was bettered by new komusubi Myogiryu. The hitherto undefeated ozeki was completely helpless as Myogiryu deflected his initial onslaught, then slipped inside and fought Baruto into an upright position. Baruto tried to come over his shoulders with a counterattack, but he had no strength and Myogiryu (5-3) sent him packing.
The fight went pretty much as Myogiryu had planned and was a textbook example of how a smaller wrestler can get an advantage against a much bigger one.
"I was able to fight my style," Myogiryu said, smiling. "I'm feeling confident."
Unbeaten Harumafuji hit komusubi Toyonoshima head on at the face-off and never looked back. Combining thrusts and very solid footwork, he plowed forward until his prey was almost out, then launched a final thrust that had so much power it took him off his own feet. He fell to the dirt, but Toyonoshima (1-7) had already stepped out.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku kept sekiwake Goeido from using his arms effectively and shoved him out before he could put up much of an offense, although he did manage to get a hold with his left hand.
Kotoshogiku is doing relatively well, though he hasn't been in the leading pack due to his third-day loss. He could still make up for that, however, and is now in a comfortable position.
Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu got a hold on the front of No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi's belt, but couldn't do anything with it as his opponent drove forward and bulled him out. It was Okinoumi's first win and Kotooshu's second loss.
"He's big, so I knew I had to get inside," Okinoumi said.
Kakuryu hasn't been fighting at his best and he narrowly defeated top maegashira Aminishiki, but mainly because Aminishiki (2-6) overextended as he attacked. Aminishiki had Kakuryu on the run, but leaned way too far forward and the Mongolian ozeki was able to maneuver to the side and let him fall.
Kakuryu shook his head in disappointment afterward at his own performance. Even so, he has four straight wins, and six overall, so he still has some room to work out the kinks.
Kisenosato and No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu had some trouble getting their bout going, but once they did the ozeki was in the driver's seat all the way. He got his hands on Wakakoyu's belt and took him over and out for his sixth win and Wakakoyu's sixth loss.
Nagoya Day 9: Mongolians Hakuho, Harumafuji remain deadlocked
Monday, 16 July 2012
The race between Mongolian rivals Hakuho and Harumafuji heated up July 16 as both tossed tough opponents to the ground to maintain their unbeaten records after nine days at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
But with six days of yokozuna-on-ozeki bouts ahead, the rest of the ozeki pack remains within comeback range.
Yokozuna Hakuho threw Goeido onto his back after almost losing right at the start when the sekiwake moved to the side and let Hakuho go flying by. Hakuho stumbled but quickly got his feet back under him and jumped right back into the fray. He took his time getting into a good position--probably being extra cautious since Goeido beat him the last time they met. As soon as he did, he launched his throw, and put a little extra power into it, just to remind Goeido who is the boss.
Ozeki veteran Harumafuji, meanwhile, won a big showdown against Baruto, using his speed and wits to confound the Estonian as he came in for his usual head-on attack. Harumafuji moved quickly to the left and spun Baruto off balance and onto his backside before he had a chance to get back in the fight. This is the third time that Harumafuji has kept a streak going this long from the first day, and the first two times led to his two tournament championships.
Baruto has now lost two in a row and could have trouble recovering. But with Hakuho starting six days of bouts against ozeki opponents from July 17, the race is by no means over.
Kisenosato was too solid for Kakuryu in the tournament's first all-ozeki bout on July 16.
Though the Mongolian came out low and hard, Kisenosato absorbed his attack and drove him back to the edge. Kakuryu twisted away and launched a series of slaps, but Kisenosato was unfazed and thrust Kakuryu out. The win was key--both went in with two losses, so Kakuryu is now in a very difficult position, while Kisenosato has more breathing room.
Kotoshogiku, now in his fifth tournament at ozeki, cleared the eight win mark with a push-out victory over No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu (2-7). The ozeki had the superior face-off, but couldn't immediately capitalize on it, so he reworked his attack and got in a better position and blazed forward again. The second time around there was no doubt.
Ozeki Kotooshu fell to his third loss, this time against komusubi Toyonoshima. He still is having trouble with his injured right leg, and he very clearly could not use his footwork to his advantage. Toyonoshima (2-7) drove him around to the side and shoved him down. Although the big Bulgarian didn't fall completely, he touched his hand to the dirt.
Struggling sekiwake Tochiozan had to earn his keep, but eventually whipped top maegashira Kyokutenho over the edge for his second win. Kyokutenho had Tochiozan in retreat, but seemed to lose his concentration, and Tochiozan used that opening to move out of the way and drive him over the rim. Kyokutenho won the last tournament and at nearly 38 years old set a record as the oldest winner yet, but he has shown nothing of that spark this time out. He still has not won yet.
New komusubi Myogiryu (5-4) lunged out at Bulgaria's No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama (3-6) and was sent flying out of the ring as Aoiyama parried to the side. Myogiryu's mistake was coming out too low, which made his attack almost an act of desperation. Aoiyama read his opponent well and held out nicely for the win.
Baruto lost again! Shaping up as a duel between Hakuho and Harumafuji, though Kotoshogiku isn't far away either.
Oh I'm so nervous!
Go, HAKUHO, Go!
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