September 2016, Day 13, Kisenosato v Kakuryu

And with that, Kisenosato’s Yokozuna dreams are over (for now, anyway). Had he beaten Okinoumi and Tochinoshin early in the tournament like he should have, today’s loss against Yokozuna Kakuryu would have still left him in title contention, and at the very least a runner-up finish would have kept his promotion chances open depending on next tournament’s results. But four losses means he’ll have to reset, putting together a multiple-consecutive tournament performance that is worthy of the Yokozuna Council’s consideration. On to today’s bout – he looks good off the tachiai, driving Kakuryu steadily backwards. But his hips are too high, and when Kakuryu plants his feet and starts cranking with the left-hand underhand grip, Kisenosato can’t recover his balance and topples over easily. Both men finish the day at 9-4.


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