July 2017, Day 5, Kisenosato v Ikioi

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May 2017, Day 10, Kisenosato v Kotoshogiku

Yokozuna Kisenosato appears to have run out of steam, losing his second bout in a row and fourth of the tournament to former Ozeki Kotoshogiku who steamrolls him with a solid effort. ‘Giku stays alive in his hopes for a winning record, staving off the makekoshi and holding fast at 3-7. Kisenosato’s chances of a winning record look dire – in the remaining five days he’ll have to face Hakuho, Harumafuji, Goeido, Terunofuji, and Tamawashi, hoping for at least two wins against that intimidating bunch. Yikes.

May 2017, Day 9, Kisenosato v Tochiozan

Nothing fancy today, just Tochiozan getting both arms underneath Yokozuna Kisenosato’s right off the bat. Kisenosato can’t prevent Tochiozan from getting low and backing him up to the edge. If Kisenosato wants to compensate for his weak left side, he can’t let his opponent get both arms inside like that. Kise’s still doing ok at 6-3, while Tochiozan picks up another kinboshi (gold star victory over a Yokozuna from M1 or lower) and improves to 5-4.

May 2017, Day 8, Kisenosato v Aoiyama

Yokozuna Kisenosato takes on the massive Aoiyama, and finds a way to win yet again. His right-handed overarm grip slips on and off and on again, but once it’s on for good the end is nigh for Aoiyama. Kisenosato also has the left-handed underarm grip, but there’s very little strength from that injured side of his body. So he gets his hips low and keeps his bulk close and under Aoiyama’s center of gravity, wearing down Aoiyama through attrition. I would not have guessed Kisenosato would have a 6-2 record after eight days, but the pressure and responsibility of the rank of Yokozuna seem to have elevated his game. He’s performing admirably.

May 2017, Day 7, Kisenosato v Mitakeumi

Yokozuna Kisenosato gets pushed all the way to the edge of the ring by Mitakeumi, but once Kisenosato gets his heels against the tawara and fights back to the center, Mitakeumi is burned out. From there it’s a slow, steady march in stages for Kisenosato, who uses his body well to force Mitakeumi over the edge with one last push at the end. Kisenosato earns his fifth win, and Mitakeumi falls to 3-4.

May 2017, Day 6, Kisenosato v Daieisho

Yokozuna Kisenosato continues to gut out victories, crushing Daieisho with his body weight by abisetaoshi (backward force down). Kisenosato is hanging in there with a 4-2 record, and Daieisho continues to struggle against the top of the division with a record of 0-6.