Chiyotairyu defeats The Glacier with the world’s slowest matador side-step that still manages to confuse Ichinojo as he stumbles on by. Both men finish the tournament with winning records – Chiyotairyu at 9-6, and Ichinojo at 8-7.
Yutakayama started off his career with seven straight winning records (plus two lower-division championships), so now his eighth tournament in professional sumo is also his first in the top Makuuchi division. Now we’ll see if the 23-year-old is ready for the high level of competition. On Day 3, Chiyotairyu stuns him with a solid tachiai that knocks him backwards, and he can’t recover. Yutakayama falls to 1-2, and Chiyotairyu improves to 2-1.
Myogiryu’s spent the last two years in a steady fall from the high rank of Komusubi, and now finds himself near the bottom of the top division. Chiyotairyu has spent the same time span bouncing up and down between the top two divisions. Both would love to put together a solid tournament to get out of danger of falling to Juryo (again), but it’s Chiyotairyu who starts off the Natsu Basho in Tokyo with a bang. A solid tachiai puts Myogiryu on his heels, and Chiyotairyu follows with some sharp thrusts that finish the job with no trouble.
Kotoyuki has a fantastic first half of this bout, but can’t keep up the momentum. He knocks Chiyotairyu back off the tachiai and drives him to the edge of the ring. But Chiyotairyu somehow gets a hold on Kotoyuki’s belt with his right hand and uses it to sidestep a big left-handed slap to the face from Kotoyuki. All of a sudden Kotoyuki is in trouble, and he tries a spin move to break the grip and get back facing the right direction. But he only makes it halfway around, and Chiyotairyu reacts well, grabbing onto Kotoyuki’s belt with his left hand to stop the rotation. Chiyotairyu charges forward, and with Kotoyuki unable to get out of the way he’s soon over the straw on the other side of the ring. Both men finish the tournament 6-9, with Chiyotairyu in danger of a demotion to Juryo.
Chiyotairyu, my man, have you never seen tape on Ishiura? You know he’s coming in low! If you were trying to reach over the back and get his belt, now you know you’re not tall enough for that. Try something else next time.
Hokutofuji is having another outstanding performance in only his second top-division tournament. There are still four days to go, but he’s mathematically in the title hunt only two losses behind the leader. He shows great body control in today’s match against Chiyotairyu, constantly being shoved upright and then pulled forwards. Chiyotairyu pushes against his chest, his face, his neck, and then pulls down on his arms, his shoulders, his head. But Hokutofuji just will not go down. Hokutofuji finds himself in good position with Chiyotairyu’s back to the edge of the ring, and one strong shove earns him his eighth win.
Chiyotairyu wins this on the tachiai. His initial charge, throwing a big left shoulder to the head, completely blows Takanoiwa off the line. A few more thrusts keep Takanoiwa from grabbing onto the belt to stop his backwards momentum. Then a two-handed shove from Chiyotairyu forces Takanoiwa to lean in, perfectly setting up the hikiotoshi (hand pull down) technique. Takanoiwa loses only his second bout of the tournament, dropping out of the lead and into a four-way tie for second place.