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SUMO: 2017 Kyushu Basho (Day 7)

It’s Day 7 of the Kyushu Basho and we’re down to just a single combatant atop the leaderboard with an undefeated record—yokozuna Hakuho! Unfortunately, I’m quite pressed for time today, so I can’t give a thorough assessment of yesterday’s action or what dramatic situations it creates. But I can point out the best of today’s matches and present the video for your enjoyment.

M13 Takekaze (2–4) vs. M13 Aminishiki (5–1)—When the two oldest rikishi in the top division go head-to-head, you get a total of 77 years of sumo experience on the dohyo at once. That’s bound to produce some interesting results. (0:36)
M12 Okinoumi (5–1) vs. M10 Ikioi (3–3)—Two popular rikishi, even though their fortunes haven’t been so great most of this year. Okinoumi is still on the leaderboard, and Ikioi is looking more confident than he has in several tournaments.  (2:40)
Ozeki Goiedo (5–1) vs. M3 Shohozan (3–3)—Goeido had his first slip-up yesterday. The big question is whether he can get back on course today and stay in the hunt for the yusho [tournament championship], or if he’s going to have another one of his patented uncalled for losing streaks. His opponent today is Shohozan—another tough, slap-and-thrust, streetfighting rikishi. When these two square off, it’s always a wild, brutal affair. (10:25)
Komusubi Onosho (1–5) vs. yokozuna Hakuho (6–0)—This is the first meeting between Hakuho and the young phenom Onosho. I expect Onosho to slow himself down and focus, because surely he can’t be overconfident in his chances against the greatest yokozuna of the era (probably of all time). Of course, I also expect that there’s nothing that the youngster can show that Hakuho doesn’t have an answer for. (11:35)
Yokozuna Kisenosato (4–2) vs. M3 Hokutofuji (5–1)—Kisenosato certainly seems to be on his way to a kachi-koshi [majority of wins], but that’s not really good enough as a yokozuna. If you ask me, it seems like his left thigh is still injured and he’s fighting every match defensively. This is fine until he faces opponents who are strong enough to push around his 240kg body. Hokutofuji certainly has the strength. So this match will probably depend on whether or not Kisenosato can outmaneuver Hokutofuji at the ring’s edge.  (12:50)


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