2019 Kyushu Basho: Day 10
On to Day 10 of the Kyushu Basho. Hakuho remains in the lead with an 8–1 record, with komusubi Asanoyama and M13 Kagayaki trailing him by one loss. Kakayaki is the bigger surprise there, since even when ranked near the bottom of the banzuke he usually struggles to make his kachi-koshi [majority of wins]. Asanoyama is one of the bright young stars of sumo and managed to win the yusho [tournament championship] back in May. But Hakuho was absent from that basho, and Asanoyama still can be inconsistent. Still, he currently seems like the most likely of any rikishi to provide any sort of challenge to the yokozuna in this tournament.
• Ozeki Takakeisho won his match against M4 Tamawashi yesterday, but got a bloody nose for his troubles. I always worry about Takakeisho in situations like that because he’s got such a small nose and mouth that he often looks like a fish gasping for breath after a normal match. I can’t imagine that if he actually broke his nose (which is not an uncommon injury in sumo) that he’d have an easy time getting enough air into his lungs to allow him to mount the dohyo and continue fighting.
• Sekiwake Mitakeumi seems comfortable enough with the healing process of the gash over his right eye that he’s gone back to doing a full-power tachi-ai [initial charge]. This means he has a good chance of putting in a strong performance here in Week 2, but with a 5–4 record not much likelihood of contending for the yusho. Still if he can get double-digit wins he’ll put himself in a good position to make a run at an ozeki promotion in January.
• Way down in the Makushita Division, where unsalaried rikishi fight to rise up to the level where they get paid and have attendants assist them, one-time ozeki Terunofuji continues his fight to come back from the debilitating knee injury that toppled him. He’s currently ranked at Makushita-7, but if he wins all seven of his matches (they only fight every other day at that level) he might just get promoted back to the Juryo Division. With a victory yesterday, he’s now 5–0 and by all accounts is looking in fine shape. Here’s hoping we see him back in the top division about this time next year!