Endo sets a tough task for himself, trying to reach around Chiyomaru’s ample belly for the underarm grip with his right arm while fending off Chiyomaru’s shoves with his left. Chiyomaru does a great job keeping Endo off his belt, but Endo manages to push Chiyomaru all the way to the edge of the ring. With Chiyomaru shoving back hard in defense, Endo executes a perfectly timed sidestep to drop Chiyomaru and his belly to the clay. 8-5 for Endo, 6-7 for Chiyomaru.
Kaisei’s been on a hot streak, at or near the top of the leaderboard for the entire tournament. Only one loss to Ichinojo has marred his record coming into today’s bout with Endo, and it looks like schedule makers are going to force him to earn a shot at the title by giving him some high-ranked opponents in the last days (Kakuryu tomorrow, for example). Maybe he’s thinking ahead instead of focusing on today, but he stumbles against Endo, who beats him with a soft, slow sidestep that Kaisei really should have avoided. Kaisei can’t stop his forward momentum and steps out on his own. His chances at his first title will depend largely on if Kakuryu wins or loses later in the day… Endo improves to 7-5.
There’s hikiotoshi, and there’s hikiotoshi. This one’s the latter. Chiyonokuni sets up the pull down by snapping Nishikigi’s head back at the chin before yanking down hard. I don’t know if Nishikigi’s ever been in a car wreck, but he knows what whiplash feels like.
Goeido hasn’t looked particularly strong this tournament, and his 4-2 record is evidence of that. Shohozan, however, has looked great, and unfortunately falls to another of Goeido’s pulling techniques to drop his first loss. Shohozan finishes the day at 5-1, now in a six-way tie for second place in the tournament standings.
One thing you miss in these quick highlight videos is the pace of live sumo. The ritual, the pageantry, the building tension. The mind games. This slightly longer clip of Kotoyuki and Ishiura facing off before their bout and going through a couple of false starts gives you more of a taste of the real thing. The four or five minutes of build-up that lead to a 2-second bout give so much flavor to the 2 seconds, make it so much more impactful, it’s a vital part of sumo that I love. As for this bout, Kotoyuki drops his eighth loss for a make-koshi, and Ishiura finishes the tournament at 9-6.
Poor Asanoyama, following up a 6-0 start with a 1-6 second half. Chiyomaru sets him up and knocks him down with no trouble. Chiyomaru picks up his kachi-koshi today, but Asanoyama will have to win at least one of the next two days to avoid demotion.
Ikioi is desperate to avoid his eighth loss and subsequent demotion, so he comes out strong against Chiyomaru. But Chiyomaru takes advantage of his over-eagerness with a deftly-timed pull down on Ikioi’s shoulder and a great innate sense of the ring behind him. Ikioi falls to 2-8, and Chiyomaru finishes at 6-4.