2018 Hatsu Basho.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

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    Sumo looks for new promise in wake of scandals
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 13 January 2018
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    Sumo kicks off its new year on Sunday, with hopes that a stellar New Year Grand Sumo Tournament will help put the ancient sport back on proper footing after two months of turmoil.

    The 15-day event offers the chance for a new start following a pair of scandals. Yokozuna Harumafuji recently forfeited his place in the sport after assaulting a fellow wrestler — a scandal that led to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko skipping the tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. The sumo world was then shaken by a scandal involving a referee kissing and touching a teenage referee during a regional tour.

    Sumo’s highest rank is coming off a bad year in which three grand champions withdrew repeatedly and one retired due to scandal. Because of that, the yokozuna rank has the most to gain from a successful tournament.

    Grand champion Hakuho increased his record title haul to 40 last year by capturing three grand tournament championships despite twice pulling out of tournaments due to injury. And although he went 14-1 to win November’s Kyushu tourney, Hakuho was chastised in December by the Yokozuna Deliberation Council for appearing to elbow opponents in the initial charge and slapping.

    The yokozuna did not resume training this year until Jan. 5, and has not sparred with any wrestlers from sumo’s elite four ranks. In practice bouts, Hakuho has experimented by trial and error with various techniques, and on occasion been forced backward by opponents.

    If the sport’s biggest star is unable to establish a rhythm when the matches begin on Sunday, it could throw open the race for the Emperor’s Cup.

    The New Year tourney will be a critical battle ground for the other two yokozuna, Kakuryu and Kisenosato, each of whom have withdrawn from the past four grand tournaments. Yet both enter with concern over their form — Kisenosato has been displaying poor balance, and Kakuryu because, among other things, he has been vulnerable at the outset of matches. A lot may rest on how well they get through their first matches.

    The remaining elite ranks appear to be in good shape. The ozeki pair of Goeido and Takayasu enter the tournament without any known issues, while sekiwake and komusubi wrestlers could provide much of the excitement.

    Mitakeumi, who will be participating in his fourth straight tournament at sekiwake and coming off his first 10-win effort in the elite ranks, is building his portfolio as a candidate for ozeki promotion.

    The komusubi slots are manned by a pair of 21-year-olds, Takakeisho and Onosho.

    Swami
     
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  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

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    Hatsu Day 1: Kakuryu makes winning return, but Kisenosato loses in comeback
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 14 January 2018
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    The Izutsu stable wrestler, who hurt his right ankle at the Nagoya tournament last July, easily defeated No. 1 maegashira Hokutofuji in his opening bout by hand pull down. Fellow yokozuna Kisenosato, who likewise missed part of each of the last four meets through injury, lost his comeback bout to komusubi Takakeisho, however.

    After unsuccessfully attempting to push his opponent from ring, Kisenosato was yanked out by an arm-bar throw, dropping to 0-2 against Takakeisho.

    Grand champion Hakuho, looking to extend his record title haul to 41 tournaments, made short work of komusubi Onosho, despite being forced back to the edge of the ring on the initial charge. The yokozuna retained his poise, however, toppling the Onomatsu stable wrestler, thrusting him down to secure the victory.

    Prior to the first top division bout, Japan Sumo Association chairman Hakkaku and the wrestlers from the uppermost ranked assembled in the raised ring and bowed to the audience. Hakkaku vowed to "continue striving to uplift" the ancient sport, without specifically addressing the scandals that have rocked the sumo world.

    The JSA the previous day announced that top referee Shikimori Inosuke will retire over his sexual harassment of a teenage referee, with news of the incident coming shortly after the retirement of yokozuna Harumafuji over the bar fight in which he attacked lower-ranked wrester Takanoiwa.

    No. 10 maegashira Aminishiki, in his first bout since dramatically maintaining his place in the top division on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in November, fell to No. 11 Kotoyuki.

    The oldest wrestler to earn re-admission to the makuuchi division, 39-year-old Aminishiki appeared to lose his footing and was easily dispatched by slap down.

    Ozeki Takayasu defeated No. 2 maegashira Yoshikaze by armlock throw, while ozeki Goeido bout beat No. 1 maegashira Ichinojo by front push out.

    Sekiwake Mitakeumi defeated No. 2 maegashira Kotoshogiku, improving to 7-3 against the heavier former ozeki by forcing him backward out of the ring.

    Swami
     
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  3. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    It's good to see Kakuryu and the Ozeki's return with a win. Sorry to see Kisenosato lose on his first day, I hope his luck changes. Ryuden's win was nice to see as a rookie at this level.
     
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  4. Swami

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    Hatsu Day 2: Kisenosato bounces back from opening defeat
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 15 January 2018
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    Making his comeback following a run of injuries that kept him from finishing the past four tournaments, Kisenosato (1-1) beat No. 1 maegashira Hokutofuji (0-2) on Day 2 of the 15-day tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Despite never appearing in danger of losing, Kisenosato was far from convincing as he labored to dislodge his opponent using his favored frontal force out technique.

    Yokozuna Kakuryu (2-0), likewise sidelined through injury for the past four meets, continued his comeback in positive fashion, overcoming komusubi Takakeisho (1-1), who had beaten Kisenosato on the opening day.

    Despite a 15-kilogram weight disadvantage, Kakuryu had relatively little trouble overpowering Takakeisho, removing him from the ring with a front push out.

    Yokozuna Hakuho (2-0), who scored the second-fastest victory of the opening day, met much firmer resistance on Day 2 in the form of first-ranked maegashira Ichinojo (0-2).

    The Mongolian-born grand champion continued his dominance over his compatriot, who had won just one of their previous 10 meetings, but had to dig deep to force the 215-kg, 192-centimeter man mountain backward out of the ring.

    In the day's longest bout, ozeki Takayasu (2-0) dispatched second-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku (0-2) by overarm throw moments after trying to lift the former ozeki from the ring. The two wrestlers, who had split their 22 previous career bouts, spent the better part of the 1-minute, 41.5-second match immobile in the center of the ring.

    In just their third meeting, ozeki Goeido (2-0) maintained an unbeaten record over komusubi Onosho (0-2), toppling him with an overarm throw.

    Sekiwake Mitakeumi (2-0) scored a quick victory over third-ranked maegashira Chiyotairyu (0-2), driving him backward out of the ring with a frontal force out.

    Sekiwake Tamawashi (2-0) used his 22-kilogram weight advantage to overpower No. 2 maegashira Yoshikaze (0-2), dislodging the smaller wrestler with a frontal thrust out.

    Swami
     
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  5. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    I liked the two long matches on the highlight show today, the Kotoshogiku/Takayashu and Hakuko/Ichinojo matches. I was so hoping Ichinojo would have had the upset. At least Kisenosato got his first win of this basho.
     
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  6. Swami

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    Kakuryu doing better than expected, I was fairly sure he would not get through the first couple of days.

    Swami
     
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  7. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

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    Hatsu Day 3: Hakuho suffers first loss, Kakuryu remains unbeaten
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 16 January 2018
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    Mongolian grand champion Kakuryu continued his injury comeback in strong fashion, staying unbeaten on Day 3 of the 15-day tournament, but yokozuna Kisenosato continued to struggle with his second defeat at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Hakuho (2-1) was sent unceremoniously backpedaling with a frontal shove out by maegashira Hokutofuji, who notched his first win here, a day after passing a stern test by his compatriot, first-ranked maegashira Ichinojo (1-2).

    The Mongolian yokozuna, seeking to add a 41st championship to his record number of career titles, had won both previous meetings against Hokutofuji, but the lower-ranked wrestler put his decorated opponent on the back foot from the outset with a rapid series of pushes and slaps to record his fourth "kinboshi" victory.

    Kakuryu (3-0) barely broke a sweat against No. 2 maegashira Yoshikaze (0-3), quickly beating the smaller wrestler by thrust down.

    Kisenosato, who like Kakuryu is competing after withdrawing from the past four meets due to injuries, looked out of sorts as he went down to Ichinojo.

    The Japanese-born yokozuna was unable to gain leverage against the heaviest man in the division and was heaved over the straw bales.

    Ozeki Goeido (3-0) had little trouble dispatching second-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku with a beltless arm throw, leaving the former ozeki from the Sadogatake stable winless.

    Ozeki Takayasu (3-0) stayed undefeated with a win over third-ranked maegashira Chiyotairyu (0-3) by thrust down. The larger Chiyotairyu sought to take the initiative by lunging at Takayasu, but was pulled off balance and sent tumbling to the ground.

    Komusubi Takakeisho (2-1) earned a strong round of applause for his spirited victory over sekiwake Tamawashi (2-1). Both of the 170-kilogram wrestlers sought to take the offensive with a series of pushes and slaps before the Takanohana stable grappler prevailed by frontal push out.

    Sekiwake Mitakeumi disposed of komusubi Onosho (0-3) by thrust down, putting on a strong display to remain unbeaten.

    Tenth-ranked maegashira Terunofuji (0-3) withdrew from the tournament ahead of his scheduled bout with No. 11 Daishomaru (2-1) due to pain in his left knee.

    The former ozeki underwent surgery on the knee following last May's Summer Grand Sumo Tournament and was demoted after pulling out of the following two meets.

    The Mongolian lost the opportunity to immediately regain ozeki status by posting 10 wins at November's Kyushu basho, his first meet following demotion, after problems with the same knee forced him to withdraw with a 0-5 record.

    Swami
     
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  8. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    A zabuton throwing day today. Hokutofuji takes down Hakuho. For me Hokutofuji is a real dark horse. This win made my day. [​IMG]

    Sorry to see Kisenosato fall yet again, but he had his hands full with Ichinojo. Hakuho had real trouble with Ichinojo yesterday. Kakuryu and the two ozeki continue to remain solid winners thus far.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  9. Swami

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    Yes, nice to see Hakuho getting beated. Unless Kisenosato improves, it looks like the end for him.

    Swami
     
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  10. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    Kisenosato did so well leading up to his yokozuna promotion but most of 2017 he was injured. I hope he and Kakuryu complete this basho without with-drawling. Sumo needs a good tourney after all the scandals with Harumafuji and the recent gyōji.
     
  11. Swami

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    Kakuryu doing surprisingly well, Terunofuji looks absolutely finished, another withdrawal yesterday, that sends him down to Juryo.

    Swami
     
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  12. Swami

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    Hatsu Day 4: Hakuho and Kisenosato tumble for second straight day
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 17 January 2018
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    There were shocks all around as first Kisenosato, the sole Japanese grand champion, was dismissed to a third loss with another weak display at the hands of former ozeki Kotoshogiku, while Hakuho fluffed his lines in the day's final match against upstart Yoshikaze.

    Yokozuna Kakuryu, who like Kisenosato has missed the last four meets through injury, leads a group of five wrestlers in the early lead with spotless 4-0 records at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Hakuho (2-2), who suffered his first defeat by big man Ichinojo on Tuesday, was quickly slapped down by Yoshikaze after losing his footing in the second biggest upset of the tournament. The Oguruma stable wrestler earned his seventh "kinboshi" victory and his third win in 18 matchups against the Mongolian champion after he sent Hakuho flailing over the edge at the 2017 November meet.

    Despite a 60-kilogram weight disadvantage, Kakuryu made quick work of fellow Mongolian and No. 1 maegashira Ichinojo (1-3) with a frontal force out and continued his strong injury comeback.

    Struggling yokozuna Kisenosato suffered another defeat when Kotoshogiku, now a No. 2 maegashira, thrust him down over his side for his first win here.

    Third-ranked maegashira Tochinoshin (4-0) ended ozeki Takayasu's (3-1) perfect record, after the Georgia-born wrestler relentlessly pushed and slapped his opponents around the ring, finally pulling him back towards the edge and executing a thrust down.

    Ozeki Goeido collided with top-ranked maegashira Hokutofuji (1-3) and captured his fourth victory after lifting the Hakkaku stable wrestler up by his belt and sending him crashing into the ringside seats.

    Sekiwake Mitakeumi also stayed undefeated after unleashing an onslaught of pushes and slaps to komusubi Takakeisho (2-2) and forcing him to his knees with a pull down.

    Komusubi Onosho (1-3) scored his first victory over sekiwake Tamawashi (2-2).

    Swami
     
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  13. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

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    It looks like curtains for Kisenosato, hard to see him surviving this now.

    Hakuho not looking great either.

    Swami
     
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  14. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    Kisenosato continues to hand out kinboshis. It's not even unimaginable that he could end with a losing record if he finishes a full tourney.

    I enjoyed Yoshikaze's win over Hakuho. I was expected Hakuho to be eager to beat Yoshikaze over the results of their November bout. Goeido continues to look great.

    I hope Kakuryu keeps it up. Unlike the other two yokozuna he had no real trouble with Ichinojo.

    Kotoshogiku has had a poor start but this win over Kisenosato helps. I heard they are rivals?
     
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  15. Swami

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    I don't know if there is any particular edge to their rivalry, but their bout history extends to over 60 top-flight bouts which is quite a lengthy one.

    Kisenosato has been so unlucky with that shoulder injury, but he can't keep on withdrawing, he either has to get at least 10 wins this time or retire.

    Swami
     
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  16. Swami

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    Another disastrous day for Kisenosato, falling to a fourth loss. Hakuho withdraws due to toe injuries.

    Swami
     
  17. Swami

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    Hatsu Day 5: Kisenosato suffers 4th defeat, Hakuho pulls out of current basho
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 18 January 2018
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    Kisenosato suffered a devastating third consecutive defeat at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday, leaving him in a continual downward spiral and four wins behind undefeated grand champion Kakuryu. Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho will likely miss his chance to extend his career championship record to 41 after pulling out of the meet due to toe injuries he sustained during Wednesday's bout.

    Kakuryu is tied at 5-0 with three others, including sekiwake Mitakeumi, in the early lead in his bid for his first championship since the 2016 November meet.

    Japan-born yokozuna Kisenosato fell to Yoshikaze (2-3) in the day's final bout. The second-ranked maegashira displayed his dominance throughout, as he chased the grand champion off of the raised ring for his second straight yokozuna kill. Kakuryu, who is gunning for his fourth Emperor's Cup, dispatched No. 3 Chiyotairyu (0-5) by pushing him out of the ring without giving his opponent room to breathe in a lopsided affair.

    His scheduled opponent, second-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku won by default, and will face Kakuryu in Friday's final bout.

    Georgian Tochinoshin defeated Ozeki Goeido (4-1) to maintain his spotless record. The third-ranked maegashira, who beat ozeki Takayasu the previous day, manhandled the Sakaigawa stable wrestler and ushered him out of the dohyo.

    Fan-favorite Mitakeumi also maintained his lead in the tourney when he held onto the mawashi of fellow sekiwake Tamawashi (2-3) and forced his opponent backwards out of the raised ring.

    Ozeki Takayasu (4-1) rebounded to beat Hokutofuji (1-4) in a slap fest and pushed the top-ranked maegashira out to earn his first win in four meetings.

    No. 10 Aminishiki (1-4), who became the oldest wrestler at age 39 to return to the elite makuuchi division at last year's Kyushu meet and won the Fighting Spirit prize, continued to struggle in Tokyo.

    He gifted seventh-ranked Chiyonokuni (1-4) his first win of the meet. Aminishiki bulldozed into the 27-year-old, but the younger wrestler twisted him down to the raised ring.

    Swami
     
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  18. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    So sad to see the continued loses of Kisenosato. Is it a physical issue or the pressures of being a yokozuna?

    Kakuryu is the man to beat and he looks solid. I'm eager to see him against Tochinoshin or the ozekis. Tochinoshin has recovered well from his knee injury. I was impressed with this two recent wins and overall record. I'm certainly not underestimating Goeido in this tourney.
     
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  19. Swami

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    Kisenosato made the mistake of not taking off at least one full tournament to fully heal the injuries, as a result each time he withdraws he loses momentum. I really can't see how he can come back now.

    Swami
     
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  20. Swami

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    Hatsu Day 6: Kakuryu survives scare to remain perfect. Kisenosato withdraws
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    Written by Kyodo
    Category: News
    Published: 19 January 2018
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    On a day when the back story threatened to overshadow the action, Kakuryu (6-0) and former ozeki Kotoshogiku provided the day's highlight in the day's final bout. His victory left Kakuryu tied with three other wrestlers at 6-0. The day's thrilling finale was in contrast to the bleak news the day started with as Kisenosato became the second yokozuna in two days to withdraw with an injury. Yokozuna Hakuho had pulled out the day before.

    Kotoshogiku, now wrestling as a No. 2 maegashira, seized the initiative with a solid opening charge, but was unable to put away Kakuryu. It took some maneuvering, but the yokozuna finally managed to grab a belt hold and force Kotoshogiku (2-4) out. The win improved Kakuryu's record in their long-running rivalry to 25-22.

    Ozeki Goeido failed to keep pace with the leaders, suffering his second loss to longtime nemesis Yoshikaze (3-3), who won his third straight bout. It was the No. 2 maegashira's 12th victory in their 23 career bouts.

    After bouncing off each other in their initial collision, Goeido lowered his head for another charge, but his attack developed too slowly and from too far away. Yoshikaze read the situation perfectly and applied downward pressure on his opponent, who was easily slapped down.

    The ozeki rank suffered another ignominious defeat soon after, when Takayasu (4-2) lost his footing. Recoiling from a shove by komusubi Onosho (3-3), the ozeki's foot slipped on the sandy surface. He was unable to regain his balance and stumbled onto all fours.

    Earlier, sekiwake Mitakeumi (6-0) overpowered No. 1 maegashira Hokutofuji (1-5) in a straight-forward shoving match that was as quick as it was artless.

    Georgian No. 3 maegashira Tochinoshin doggedly forced out Takakeisho (2-4), beating the up-and-coming 21-year-old for the first time in three career bouts to improve to 6-0 for the tournament.

    In the first match on the day's makuuchi division card, 16th-ranked maegashira Asanoyama (6-0) kept his wits about him as he pursued and finally shoved out tricky No. 15 Ishiura (3-3).

    Swami
     
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