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Ah! Tochinoshin chokes again. Gotta love it when the belt slid up to Kakuryuu's chest.

Still a very engaging tournament. Lot of good stuff like Takakeisho and Abi digging themselves out of their early ruts, lot of frustrating stuff like Hokutofuji's bullshit injury.

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My wonderful scenario...maybe we will still get a playoff if Hakuho beats Kakuryu in a battle for Yokozuna pride. I see a lot of discussion about a loose Mawashi, I still thought Kakuryu's defensive Sumo was great.

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Could Abi wind up a Komusubi if he wins tomorrow? Assuming that the YDC aren't total morons, Tochinoshin is going up to Ozeki, Ichinojo has his Kachi Koshi, as does Mitakeumi, so there are your Sekiwake. Neither current Ozeki is losing his rank this time around, but Endo surely is. There are three guys at M1 and M2, including Abi, on 7-7, and M4 Shodai who could be in contention is results go his way. 

Hakuho beating Kakuryu isn't a huge leap, but Tochinoshin would still need to win twice. I hope he manages it. 

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I think Abi has a pretty good case to make. He has wins over an Ozeki and a Yokozuna. He has to make kachikoshi first and probably hope for two of Tamawashi, Shodai or Kotoshogiku to loose tomorrow to make it I'd guess. Two free Komusubi slots for next tournament.

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Kakuryu beats Hakuho in yet another great bout. Second yusho in a row for him. He also gets a repeat of his personal best tournament score of 14-1. Hakuho finished the tournsment at 11-4 which is nothing to sneeze at considering his father died in the midst of basho-preperations. His total in Makuuchi wins is at a legendary 983. Tochinoshin pays dearly for his day 13 lapse against Shodai, but will be a new Ozeki in July after 13-2. 

Mitakeumi will be back as Sekiwake after 9-6, he will join Ichinojo at that rank. Tamawashi will be back in sanyaku after getting a kachikoshi on senshuraku. The possible candidates for the second free Komusubi slot are Shohozan and Shodai, I'd think it will be Shohozan.

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Eleven days away from the Nagoya basho, the new banzuke came out on Monday. Tochinoshin is listed as Ozeki on the west side, simply for east-west symmetry on the top of the banzuke. Mitakeumi is back at Sekiwake, Tamawashi and Shohozan both join sanyaku as Komusubi. 

Kisenosato seems to be leaning towards entering, but there are still quite a few days left until the actual basho. No certainty about anything as long as he doesn't face opposition outside his own heya. Which will probably happen some time next week. 

 

Big Edit:

The Nagoya Basho reached it's midway point and there are some intriguing developements. Sekiwake Mitakeumi is leading the field with a perfect 8-0 record. He has shown quality Sumo, dominating his bouts in a calm, convincing Männer so far. 

Current runner-ups are two Maegashira Endo (#6) and Asanoyama (#13) who are 7-1. Especially Endo has looked formidable against his opposition.

Of the top dogs, only the two Ozeki Takayasu (6-2) and Goeido (5-3) are left, both looking hampered by injuries / and or bad form. Kisenosato declared his Kyujo before the basho, fellow Yokozunor Hakuho and Kakuryu joined him after 3 and 5 days respectively because of injuries sustained in training getting worse. New Ozeki Tochinoshin went 5-0 before losing to Tamawashi, injuring himself in the process. He might return in a few days, but is likely to have collected 3, 4 absences in the meantime which will put him out of Yusho contention. With only Goeido and Kotoshogiku remaining as former tournament winners, it is highly likely we will get another premier winner this basho. It'd be the second first-timer this year after Georgian Tochinoshin won Januaries Hatsu Basho with an impressive 14-1.

 

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Anyone watch the 10+ hour final 2 at World Series of Poker? Fell asleep watching around 2am and woke up at 7:30am and they were still playing! Great moves by both guys including a 7 High all in bluff by the eventual runner up. 

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Nagoya basho, Day 10

Mitakeumi still has a perfect recorder, 10-0. The Sekiwake is two wins ahead of  both Maegashira 13 Asanoyama and Tochiozan. He will face Kaisei tomorrow, whom he is 0-8 against. Afterwards, he still has both remaining Ozeki Goeido and Takayasu aswell as probably Sekiwake Ichinojo waiting for him. The two Ozeki are currently both sitting at three losses, maybe they'll be able to make the yusho race exciting. 

New Ozeki Tochinoshin will not re-enter after dropping out with a 5-1 record after day 6. 

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I apologize in advance for double posting, but here's an update regarding the Sumo Nagoya Basho: 

Mitakeumi fell to Takayasu on day 12 in what should have been a redo. It didn't phase him, he bounced back with a convincing victory over Goeido. Today he faced 9-4 Tochiozan, a win needed to secure the Yusho. Mitakeumi seemed off to a slow start, but adjusted quickly and got a mawashi grip with his left. He then calmly and collectedly escorted Tochiozan out of the dohyo to collect his first Makuuchi Yusho. It is the first time a Rikishi from Nagano is awarded an official tournament win (tournament wins have only started to be counted as such since the beginning of the 20 th century). If you count unofficial tournament wins, Mitakeumi is the first champion from the prefecture in 208 years, preceeded by the legendary Raiden. 

Because Sumo is a fantastic Sport, there's a lot more, but I will get back at you once the tournament finishes.

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The Washington Valor has advanced to the Arena Bowl championship.    With a record of 2-10 which has to be the worst record for a championship game ever 

And you thought the BCS Playoff system was confusing as hell.   😜

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25 minutes ago, hammerva said:

The Washington Valor has advanced to the Arena Bowl championship.    With a record of 2-10 which has to be the worst record for a championship game ever 

And you thought the BCS Playoff system was confusing as hell.   😜

There's also only four teams in the league

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I can’t think of a better place to put this since it isn’t mentioned in the Football forum, but the Arena Football League just saw a fucking 2-10 team in the Washington Valor win the ArenaBowl this weekend.

(granted, the AFL literally only has four teams, guaranteeing they all make the playoffs. Oh, and there are only two ownership groups who own all two teams a piece. The ArenaBowl itself was between two teams owned by the same group that owns the Washington Capitals.)

I’ve always been an advocate of the AFL, but in they have some major housekeeping to look into if they want to survive the XFL threat.

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Sumo Sumo Sumo! 

On Sunday, the Aki Basho in Tokyo starts. Nobody went kyujo, meaning even the injury-hampered Yokozunor are in. Here is a short list of things that COULD happen. Not all of them are positives, but anyway... 

Kisenosato intai? 

The first Japanese-born Yokozuna promotee in almost 19 years (promoted January 2017) had a rough year and a half. After a long, exhausting climb to Sumo's top rank and years of consistantly good performances he finally achieved his first yusho in Hatsu (January) 2017. In his first basho as a Yokozuna he went 12-0, before a fierce battle with then-fellow Yokozuna Harumafuji led to a brutal fall with a severe pectoral injury. Kisenosato heroically stayed in the tournament and even won it, then opted to not have surgery on the pec. Since then he didn't finish any tournament, totally sitting out four of the last eight tournaments, the last 3 of those in a row after withdrawing from his January campaign after an abysmal 1-4 start.

Being Yokozuna is a complicated thing. You can't be relegated for a bad performance. Theoretically you can be retired. Practically, you will be pressured into retirement by the Sumo association if your performances aren't good enoough. The homegrown Grand Champion himself put on the pressure, stating publically that if unable to finish the next Basho he'd enter with a satisfying score he would retire from Sumo. Kakuryu was in a similar situation in January, when he bounced back with a decent 11-4 after an injury ridden 2017.

Hakuho - eternal emperor of sumo

Hakuho is the greatest. His achievements in Sumo are incredible. 40 Yusho, most career wins, most wins in a calendar year ever achieved, longest winning streak in the six Basho era...the list goes on and on. There two records left for the "White Peng" which seem almost mythical, but both are achievable: 800 wins as a Yokozuna (8 wins needed) and 1 000 wins in Makuuchi, Sumos top division. On top of those two landmark-records, the Grand Champion himself has expressed the desire to stay active until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he would love to perform the ritualistic Yokozuno dohyo-iri as a part of the opening ceremony. Although not as dominant and very careful with his health over the last years, he is still the man to beat. 

Tochinoshin kadoban

The Georgian mountain of a man has enticed us with brilliant power sumo over the first three tournaments of 2018. He was amazingly quick to get out of the blocks in July aswell, until a toe injury let to a screeching halt of his momentum. After a 5-1 start, he had to forfeit one match and sit out the remaining 8. Instead of seriously challenging for Yokozuna (which seemed possible after his start in Nagoya), he will now have to battle demotion. A 8-7 will let him keep his Ozeki rank. 

Can Goeido make it three in a row @ Aki? 

Goeido is a good Rikishi. However, his performances at Ozeki are... volatile, to put it politely. For some reason, he hardly gets double digit wins. He is brilliant in training, but can't put it together in the Basho. However, the last two years there was something about him and Aki. Last year he seemed the only high ranker to perform well until he inexplicably collapsed in the last four days, losing 3 out of 4 regulation matches, twice to Harumafuji on senshuraku - final day (one in regulation, one in a championship-playoff) and as a consequence the tournament. 2016 he won Aki with zensho, a perfect 15-0 score. Nobody knew how and why. Maybe, Aki will mark another remarkable Goeido performance. Then again, he got his "once-a-year-double-digit" record in the last tournament, so who knows... 😉

A new Japanese Ozeki? 

Sekiwake Mitakeumi took advantage of the absence of quite a few of the top dogs in July's Nagoya basho. He looked calm, collected and technically brilliant, beating opponents in yokozuna-like fashion. A 13-2 record saw him winning the Yusho, even his two defeats were magnificient performances. He was - as a logical consequence - put on an Ozeki run. Such a run is normally succesfully completed with 33 wins over three tournaments, with no makekoshis (more losses than wins) in between. Mitakeumi had 9-6 in May, followed by a 13-2 in July. Mathematically, 11 wins should suffice. However, the criteria of promotions aren't set in stone. If Mitakeumi can beat one or two Yokozuna, namely Hakuho, a 10-5 might get him promoted. If Mitakeumi scores 11-4 with losing to every rikishi ranked above him, he might stay at Sekiwake. It's going to be tough either way, but especially with 3 Yokozunor and 3 Ozeki to battle. My fingers are crossed for tbe Nagano native, would be fantastic to have a young Japanese Ozeki. 

As you can see, I am really hyped for this. There are loads of fantastic Rikishi at lower ranks aswell, but I am not enough of an expert to write about everyone. I will definetly keep close eyes on Endo, Yutakayama, Chiyotairyu, Onosho, Asanoyama and many many more. 😊

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So, the Aki Basho is five days in, situation is as follows:

5-0 Kakuryu, Hakuho, Kisenosato, Takayasu, Mitakeumi, Hokotufuji, Yoshikaze 

The top guys seem very strong this basho, all three Yokozuna and Ozeki Takayasu having spotless records after the first third. Mitakeumi shows that he is on his Ozeki run for a reason, beating three underneath guys (one of them sanyaku mainstay Tamawashi), Co-ranker Ichinojo and Ozeki Tochinoshin. Maybe even more importantly, he is beating everyone with really good and calmly executed Sumo. 

So far, Kakuryu and Hakuho look convincing. Wide array of well executed techniques, deserving wins against opposition that looked game. Hakuho had a big scare against Takakeisho today, but regained balance and was able to use the eager young Komusubi's momentum against him. Kisenosato, the third Yokozuna, might not (ever) be back to his former self. He definetly looks to be in competitive shape and is going all out on the dojo, scoring emphatic wins and electrifying the crowd. I will point to especially his encounters for the days 2, 3 and 4, great dramatic matches.

Takayasu is the second big surprise among the top guys, barely having trained because of severe back pains. After two somewhat shaky wins his sumo improved over the last few days, looking like the guy he is when healthy. 

In the lower ranks, Hokotufuji set his top division tournament starting record when going 3-0 and has been improving it since then. Having been in the upper Maegashira ranks before and dropping out of these mostly due to injury in early 2018, he seems back to form and underranked at Maegashira #9. Same can be said for Yoshikaze, who went 2-13 in July, barely avoiding a drop to Juryo (second division) with two wins after being 0-13 already. 

One of the pace - 4-1 Goeido, Asanoyama, Sadanoumi, Ryuden

Despite an opening day loss to Kaisei, Goeido seems to have really taking a liking to Aki. He looks powerful and well balanced so far. Asanoyama is at his career highest and therefore has to be applauded for his performance so far. His main goal has to be scoring four more w's for kachikoshi. Sadanoumi and Ryuden are quietly building nice records, especially Ryuden looking very solid (I probably jinxed him now). 

Other noteworthy developments

Tochinoshin is clearly not at a 100%, getting 8 wins is not going to be easy with two in-form Ozekis and three in-form Yokozuna. The Georgian superman is at 3-2. One of his losses came to Mitakeumi, though. So he has the toughest non-top-guy out of the way. 

Some of the upper level Maegashira look horrible with 0-5 and 1-4 records. This was, however, to be expected with fit Yokozuna and Ozeki performing up to their skill level. Some of them put up great performances against highly skilled opposition. It will be interesting to see who can rally from the first-week-thrashing. 

Yutakayama unfortunately won't be able to. He is out after sustaining and elbow injury. He is not the only casualty in the top division, since Kyokutaisei already dropped out after injuring both meniscii. Hope for a speedy and complete recovery for both men. 

This was a lot of text, but it's a great Basho aswell. I will continue updating as the tournament goes on. 

 

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If there's another match as good as Mitakeumi/Takakeisho this whole tournament, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Hot damn that was crazy.

also if Tochinoshin is forcing out Ichinojou at under 100%, then I've never been 100% my whole life.

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I would argue there have been numerous great bouts, Takakeisho vs Mitakeumi surely among them. I'm prefer Belt Sumo a little bit over pushing/thrusting, and I'd tend to say Kisenosato vs Tochinoshin was my favourite match so far. The fact that the big guys put in extra shifts makes this basho special. 

Tomorrow will be a huge day for Sumo. Mitakeumi v Kakuryu, Kisenosato (at 7-2, looking for Kachikoshi) v Endo and Hakuho against struggling Sekiwake Ichinojo. The two Ozeki Goeido and Takayasu face each other aswell, both having a 8-1 score. 

Both Mongolian Yokozuna are with a spotless 9-0 record at the moment. Mitakeumi experienced a few setbacks over the last four days. He was surprised by - admittedly very strong - Ozeki Goeido and lost for the first time in his career to then 0-7 Ikioi. A great but losing effort against Hakuho followed today and at 6-3 Mitakeumi can only afford one more loss while still having to face two Yokozuna and the strong Ozeki Takayasu. He will probably scale back on his own expectations a little and really focus on getting eight wins+. Who ever wins between Goeido and Takayasu will remain in the Yusho race. Both have shown strength and technique and both seem able to upset the perfect Grand Champions in their Direct match ups. Over the last few tourneys, no Ozeki stayed firmly in the Yusho race, let alone two of them. Takayasu scored two runner up performances in Januar and March, but was never really in the mix due to dropping matches very early. He was also heavily rumoured to be badly injured before this basho. Goeido seemed to be mainly struggling to keep his rank, also occasiionally hampered by injuries. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top. 

Tochinoshin seems injured. The Georgian really needs to win and he needs to start with this NOW. He needs three Ws out of his last six. Tochinoshin will have to face Hakuho, Kakuryu and Takayasu, all of which seem unbeatable for him atm. Tomorrow he will battle Kaisei, the big and heavy Brazilian who showed tremendous tenacity and still has a decent enough shot at capturing a sanyaku rank. After Tochinoshin, he will only fight lower opposition. He needs four wins in six matches. 

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Well. I don't know if any of you sumo types knew this, but Hakuho is kinda good. 15-0.

800 wins as Yokozuna, 1000 wins in the top division, 41 Yusho, of which 13 Zensho-Yusho.

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I think this Zensho even was his 14th. Incredible athlete. It's also his 13th calendar year in a row winning at least one Yusho. He is likely going to slow down, not pulling through with minor injuries in order to make it to the 2020 Olympics. But with all the top guys being in and competitive to a degree, it almost seemed as if he wanted to show everyone why he should be seen as the greatest. You are fairly decent at your Job when they make up new milestones for you, some of which maybe not even thought possible.

Edit: Since I put up the major stories going into Aki Basho 2018, here are the conclusions... The praise for Hakuho has already been sung, and rightfully so. 

Kisenosato - the Japanese yokozuna showed two things. First that he will probably never be back to his former self. Second that he is willing to go down fighting. He showed resillience and fighting spirit in a lot of his bouts and finished with an impressive 10-5 score, beating high rankers aswell as rank and file Rikishi. The question will remain if he can shake dohyo rust and adapt to a slightly different style with allows him to perform at this or maybe higher level regularly. 

Tochinoshin beating kadoban - to be blunt, it looked a little bleak when Tochinoshin dropped to a 5-4 record on day 9. He looked gassed, still had to face Kakuryu, Hakuho and Takayasu which looked unbeatable at that stage. Tochinoshin however had gas left in the tank. Victories over two of the high rankers, a minor scare after an upset loss to Shodai on day 13 and in the end he scored a respectable 9-6 with a memorable victory over Kakuryu in which he lifted the Yokozuna out of the dohyo. 

Aki Goeido - Goeido is such a mixed bag. He is a Yokozuna in training, but often can't live up to his Ozeki rank in competition. His Aki campaign started with a loss to Kaisei and many thought it would be another instance where he impressed everyone in keiko Sessions before the tournament, then struggled to do anything in the basho. Then he started winning and overpowering opponents. He finished with 12-3 score in second place, beating Kakuryu and Kisenosato aswell as Tochinoshin, his other two losses coming to Takayasu and Hakuho. Impressive showing by the Ozeki, his second double digit score in a row. 

Mitakeumi (N)Ozeki - Unfortunately it was not to be. A perfect 5-0 start, 6-1 after seven days, turned into 6-6. The tougher schedule in the second week meant three Yokozuna and strong Ozeki Takayasu as opponents for the young Ozeki hopeful, but what really killed any Ozeki hope for Mitakeumi were losses against (until then) winless Ikioi (Day 😎 and Kaisei (Day 11). A 9-6 with two wins against Ozeki is not enough and his run was declared over, but should he perform well enough in November I'm very sure he will be reconsidered.

As for the rank and File Rikishi I mentioned, all of them scored Makekoshi - majority of losses - and a lot of them scored abysmal records. Asanoyama got close with a 7-8 score, but five losses in a row denied any forward movement on the Banzuke. There will very likely be Lots of overpromoting and underdemoting going on for the next Basho. 

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On 9/25/2018 at 7:01 AM, ReiseReise said:

I think this Zensho even was his 14th. 

I think you're right.

On 9/25/2018 at 7:01 AM, ReiseReise said:

Kisenosato - Not as good as Hakuho. At least he got his "Yokozuna Kachi Koshi." 

Tochinoshin - Not as good as Hakuho, but he's at least not kadoban. 

Aki Goeido - Not as good as Hakuho, and never will be. 

Mitakeumi - Not as good as Hakuho, but I hope he makes Ozeki next time round. It'll be difficult, unless at least two of the guys above him, and if that happens, will he be seen as legit? 

 

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