(Thanksgiving Holiday commentary hiatus)
Yokozuna Kisenosato needs to get as many wins in the first half of the tournament as he can before he has to fight the strong Ozeki and Yokozuna contingent later on. It still doesn’t seem like he’s at 100%, but he looks good enough today against Tochiozan, who loses for the sixth time in a row. Kisenosato improves to 4-2.
NEVER GIVE UP!!! Yokozuna Kisenosato digs deep, really deep, to fight off tough opponent Shohozan at the edge of the ring. Somehow he pulls off this win after being fairly handily dominated for the entire bout. Twisting impossibly with both feet on the straw, Kisenosato puts a hand in Shohozan’s ribs and sends him crashing into the clay. Fantastic come-from-behind victory for the Yokozuna, who improves to 3-2.
Wait, which one’s the Yokozuna again? Takakeisho picks up his second kinboshi (gold star win over a Yokozuna) of the tournament, and the third of his career. He looks really, really strong. Total domination. You can’t make Ozeki predictions based on one bout, but I’m going to go ahead and say it out loud, so sometime in the next two years when he gets promoted I can say I called it.
Yokozuna Kisenosato loses the tachiai to Chiyotairyu, getting driven back off the shikiri-sen. But he keeps his composure, fights back, keeps his feet moving, and quickly takes Chiyotairyu out the other side of the dohyo. Nice posture at the end, not getting overextended. Kisenosato is 2-1.
Onosho gets a bit overeager at the tachiai against Yokozuna Kisenosato, and his feet slip out from under him after the initial contact. Kisenosato looks good for the split-second we get to see him work, and he’s happy to pick up his first win of the tournament.
The big, big question this tournament revolves around Yokozuna Kisenosato’s recovery from shoulder/chest injury. Has he had enough time to rehab? Will he be at full strength? Everyone agreed he wasn’t ready in July, and no one faulted him for sitting out all of September. But it would be a real shame if he had to drop out of this tournament after a few lackluster losses. Hard to say after watching this bout against Tamawashi. He looks strong enough, and it doesn’t appear that his shoulder is bothering him. But Tamawashi was excellent today, staying low and driving hard against the Yokozuna’s chest and chin to keep him upright. Things will be much clearer after a couple of days.