2018 Hatsu Basho.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jan 13, 2018 at 8:51 PM.

  1. Swami
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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New Year tourney will be a critical battle ground for the other two yokozuna, Kakuryu and Kisenosato, each of whom have withdrawn from the past four grand tournaments.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
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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
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    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
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    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
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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
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    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 at 6:18 PM
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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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