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2020 Hatsu Basho.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Asanoyama, Kakuryu look to slow Hakuho's roll at New Year meet
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 11 January 2020
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    New sekiwake Asanoyama and returning yokozuna Kakuryu will try to stop Hakuho claiming a record-extending 44th top-division championship at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament starting on Sunday.

    After emerging victorious from an injury-depleted field in Kyushu in November, Mongolian-born grand champion Hakuho has his sights fixed on winning the first meet of the year at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    The 34-year-old great revealed his long-term goal of capturing 50 Emperor's Cups in the aftermath of his most recent victory in Fukuoka.

    He will start his campaign Sunday against komusubi Daieisho, who is making his debut in the three "sanyaku" ranks below yokozuna after posting a winning record at three consecutive tournaments.

    Having tied for the second-best record in Fukuoka, rising star Asanoyama hopes to go one better as he fights out of the sport's third-highest rank for the first time.

    The 25-year-old, who won his maiden crown last May, looks set to continue his ascent provided he can carry his impressive wrestling into 2020.

    Kakuryu, who pulled out of the past two tournaments due to injury, will seek to recapture the form that propelled him to a 14-1 record and the championship last July in Nagoya.

    The Mongolian grand champion has recently battled a cold but has not missed training and is set to square up against No. 1 maegashira Endo on the opening day.

    Following the demotion of Takayasu to sekiwake, just two ozeki remain. One of them, Goeido, will fight as a demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki.

    The other, Takakeisho, should be a contender if wrestling at full strength. After sitting out the entire Nagoya basho, the Chiganoura stable grappler was in the mix at the following meet in September but finished five wins off the pace in Kyushu.

    Injury hampered Takayasu will try to bounce straight back following his demotion. After withdrawing in November with severe back pain, he can secure automatic promotion back to the ozeki rank with at least 10 wins.

    Among the other big names to be demoted following the Kyushu meet, Mitakeumi is battling to return to sanyaku after falling into the rank-and-file for the first time since January 2017.

    The Dewanoumi stable wrestler, who won a second makuuchi title in September, went 6-9 in Fukuoka and relinquished his sekiwake rank, dropping to No. 2 maegashira.

    Georgian-born former ozeki Tochinoshin suffered a second-straight demotion and will fight as a sixth-ranked maegashira.

    Another of the division's rising stars, 99-kilogram dynamo Enho will look to continue his climb toward sanyaku.

    An immediate crowd favorite following his makuuchi debut last May, the smallest man in sumo's elite division will start the New Year meet as a No. 5 maegashira, his highest ranking yet.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hatsu Day 1: Hakuho off to winning start at New Year meet
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 12 January 2020
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    Hakuho started his pursuit for a record-extending 44th career championship on a winning note, while fellow grand champion Kakuryu suffered a shocking defeat on the opening day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

    Hakuho seized komusubi Daieisho's belt with his right hand following the initial clash and easily forced the komusubi out in the final bout of the day at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    With the win, the Mongolian-born yokozuna was able to exact revenge for a loss to Daieisho at the previous tournament in November. Hakuho, who won in Fukuoka with a 14-1 record, has not won the New Year basho since 2015. He has revealed his long-term goal of capturing 50 Emperor's Cups.

    In the day's penultimate bout, yokozuna Kakuryu lost to No. 1 maegashira Endo and failed to make a winning return from injuries that forced him to withdraw from two previous meets.

    While his health and fitness remained in question after suffering a cold at the end of the year, the Mongolian yokozuna stepped back out of the ring under pressure as he tried to execute a slap down.

    While Hakuho and Kakuryu suffered mixed fates on the opening day of the 15-day meet, the younger stars also enjoyed a share of the spotlight.

    In one of the most anticipated bouts of the day, sekiwake Asanoyama beat No. 2 Mitakeumi in his first bout in the sport's third-highest rank.

    The 25-year-old Asanoyama was bulldozed toward the edge by Mitakeumi, who is fighting as a rank-and-file wrestler for the first time since January 2017. But the young sekiwake remained firm and held Mitakeumi's belt with both hands before shoving him out.

    Ozeki Takakeisho, the youngest wrestler in the top-flight makuuchi division at 23, easily dispatched No. 1 Myogiryu. Takakeisho resisted Myogiryu's slaps, and calmly pushed out his 157-kg opponent. Fan-favorite Takakeisho is gunning for his second championship.

    No. 5 Enho, the lightest makuuchi division wrestler at 99 kilograms, received a huge ovation after he overcame a 69-kg disadvantage against No. 6 Takarafuji, who appeared to have the advantage from the start. Following a stalemate in the center of the ring, Enho resisted Takarafuji's attempt for a left-handed belt hold and threw him down.

    Meanwhile, ozeki Goeido and sekiwake Takayasu suffered upsets to rank-and-filers Hokutofuji and Tamawashi, respectively.

    Fighting as a demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki, Goeido was thrust down by No. 2 Hokutofuji. Takayasu, who needs 10 wins to earn re-promotion to ozeki, was quickly shoved out by No. 3 Tamawashi, the 2019 New Year champion.

    No. 17 Kiribayama, the tournament's only makuuchi-division debutant, survived a scare against former sekiwake Kaisei for his first win on the elite division.

    Swami
     
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  3. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Good to start the New Year with some good sumo action. It's nice to see some familiar faces return to the top ranks.
     
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  4. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Indeed, although Kakuryu doesn't look in good shape.

    Swami
     
  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hatsu Day 2: Endo steals New Year spotlight with win over Hakuho
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 13 January 2020
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    Popular No. 1 maegashira Endo brought Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan to its feet on Monday with a stunning upset of yokozuna Hakuho on the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament's second day.

    It was the second yokozuna scalp for Endo at the 15-day tourney. Coming off a win over Mongolian grand champion Kakuryu on Day 1, the 29-year-old dodged Hakuho's opening charge. Although Hakuho quickly reacted, he appeared to go into panic mode and three times failed to execute a throw.

    On the final try, Hakuho (1-1) lost his balance and fell over backward. Cushions flung from the stands rained down upon the raised ring, while the crowd stood and chanted Endo's name.

    Endo said he had not expected Hakuho to try and get around him on the charge.

    "My concentration was really good and I was able to react," said Endo, who scored his second win against Hakuho in 13 career bouts.

    Kakuryu, meanwhile, rebounded from his awkward Day 1 loss, slapping down komusubi Abi (0-2) in the day's final bout.

    Like Hakuho, 23-year-old ozeki Takakeisho paid the price for trying to get around his opponent on the charge. With the ozeki aiming for Hokutofuji's right shoulder, the No. 2 maegashira pivoted to his right and easily shoved him out.

    "The ozeki is really strong on the charge. He has favored a left-side attack and I was determined to hold my own," Hokutofuji (2-0) said.

    Goeido, who needs eight wins to retain his ozeki ranking after going winless in November, charged No. 2 Mitakeumi (1-1) back to the straw but let him slip away and was instead forced out to a second loss.

    Sekiwake Takayasu earned the first of 10 victories he will need to regain his lost ozeki status with some of his trademark tip-toeing along the straw bales. Instead of being shoved out by No. 4 Okinoumi (1-1), Takayasu performed a tight-rope walk along the ring's edge while the maegashira lost his balance and stepped out.

    New sekiwake Asanoyama improved to 2-0 by shoving out No. 3 Tamawashi (1-1). Asanoyama was being swung out of the ring, but the Mongolian maegashira lost his grip and instead found himself being shoved out from behind.

    No. 4 maegashira Shodai improved to 2-0 with a win over pesky 99-kilogram No. 5 Enho.

    A day after Enho escaped from a dire disadvantage to come away with his first victory of the meet, Shodai quickly immobilized his lightweight opponent. Enho lunged around Shodai's left for a belt hold on the charge, but came up empty and instead walked into a headlock.

    With his opponent gripping the back of his belt, Enho tried to wriggle away but only managed to fall backward as Shodai attempted an overarm throw.

    Kiribayama (1-1), who earned his first promotion to the elite makuuchi division by winning his last five bouts as a juryo-division wrestler in November, tasted his first defeat of the new year. The No. 17 maegashira was slapped down by No. 2 juryo Kotonowaka (1-1).

    Former ozeki Tochinoshin evened his record as a No. 6 maegashira at 1-1 with a laborious shove-out win over No. 7 Onosho (0-2).

    Swami
     
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  6. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    That Hakuho/Endo match was amazing. Hakuho's facial expressions once he loses is priceless.

    Goeido better get his sumo in order with a 0-2 start. I did think that Takayasu and Okinoumi should have had a rematch as they both seemed to exit at the same time but oh well.

    I must be a contrarian as I like seeing Enho lose. I do admire his skills and his style of sumo. I'm interested in seeing him against some of the higher ranking rikishi in this basho.

    I see Kakuryu is facing Hokutofuji on Tuesday, I don't know who I want to win as I like them both. :think:

    Kotoshogiku better start a winning run or this may be it for his sumo career.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  7. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    If Goeido doesn't get eight wins, the ozeki really are dropping like flies. I've never known a period with so many ozeki demotions.

    Swami
     
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  8. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hatsu Day 3: Hakuho and Kakuryu fall to second defeat
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 14 January 2020
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    Yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu each fell to their second defeats at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, leaving the title open for sekiwake Asanoyama and a pair of rank-and-filers who share the lead.

    Hakuho was unceremoniously slapped down by his opponent, Myogiryu (1-2), on Day 3 at Ryogoku Kokugikan, after being skillfully denied an inside belt hold by the top-ranked maegashira.

    Myogiryu had only beaten the Mongolian-born yokozuna once in 21 previous match-ups and picked up his fifth kimboshi prize for beating a yokozuna as a rank-and-file wrestler.

    Asanoyama, who won his first top-division title last May, earned his third straight win of the meet and remains in prime position to hoist another Emperor’s Cup.

    The new sekiwake easily wrapped up No. 4 Okinoumi (1-2) with a left-handed belt hold and edged his opponent over the straw.

    Kakuryu suffered his second upset of the tournament, this time at the hands of No. 2 Hokutofuji, who improved to 3-0 after beating both ozeki over the first two days of the year’s first meet.

    Kakuryu took Hokutofuji to the edge but the maegashira rallied, pushing him back and kept pressure on the yokozuna as Kakuryu tried unsuccessfully to pull Hokutofuji down.

    No. 1 Endo, who masterfully defeated Hakuho on Monday, also improved to 3-0 after quickly dispatching demotion-threatened ozeki Goeido (0-3).

    Endo shifted to the side to avoid absorbing the brunt of Goeido’s initial charge, then pulled the injury-plagued veteran around and launched him out to his third straight loss.

    Goeido needs to finish the tournament with a winning record to keep his rank.

    Takakeisho (2-1) overpowered new komusubi Daieisho in a thrusting battle and bounced back from his Monday loss against Hokutofuji.

    Daieisho got in several good shoves before the ozeki landed a powerful blow that shifted Daieisho to the edge and allowed Takakeisho to plow him out.

    Sekiwake Takayasu collected his second win on the road to securing a promotion back to ozeki, beating Mitakeumi (1-2).

    Takayasu kept the No. 2 maegashira at arm’s length as Mitakeumi resisted, then took him down with a textbook slap-down maneuver.

    Six wrestlers remain perfect after three days of action in Tokyo. No. 4 Shodai, No. 11 Kagayaki and No. 14 Terutsuyoshi all retained their spotless records with wins against No. 6 Takarafuji (1-2), No. 12 Chiyomaru (1-2) and No. 15 Azumaryu (2-1), respectively.

    Swami
     
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  9. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    One now wonders how long it will be until Hakuho and Kakuryu pull out due to "injury". I wasn't expecting Myogiryu to beat Hakuho with his one win in twenty-one matches record against the yokozuna.

    Asanoyama, Endo and even Hokutofuji look good in these early days.

    I see Ichinojo has a 1-2 record on juryo thus far. Must be still hurting.

    BTW, how many wins does Takayasu need to return to ozeki ranks, ten?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  10. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Yes, Takayasu needs to win ten to regain ozeki rank. Goeido needs to win eight, but it looks as if his work is cut out.

    Hakuho had always said he hoped to be active until the 2020 Olympics but I think he is pushing it too much.

    Swami
     
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  11. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hakuho pulls out of New Year meet
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 15 January 2020
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    Hakuho, winner of the Kyushu basho in November and one of two yokozuna on the banzuke for the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, withdrew from the first meet of the year on Wednesday.

    The 34-year-old began his quest for a record-extending 44th career championship on Sunday with a win, but conceded two kinboshi, upsets of a yokozuna by a rank-and-filer, in his next two bouts for a 1-2 record.

    According to his stablemaster Miyagino, Hakuho came down with a fever Tuesday evening caused by a bacterial skin infection on his right foot. He also has inflammation in the lower back after landing heavily on the dohyo during Monday’s bout against Endo.

    Hakuho’s absence leaves Mongolian Kakuryu as the only yokozuna competing in the 15-day meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. Hakuho’s withdrawal gives No. 2 maegashira Hokutofuji, his scheduled opponent for Wednesday, a win by forfeit.

    Hakuho, also a Mongolian-born wrester, acquired Japanese citizenship last September. He fights out of the Miyagino stable.

    Swami
     
  12. Swami

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    Hatsu Day 4: Asanoyama falls, Kakuryu takes 3rd loss
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 15 January 2020
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    New sekiwake Asanoyama took his first loss of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, while grand champion Kakuryu succumbed to his third defeat.

    Asanoyama fell down the leaderboard along with top-ranked maegashira Endo after getting brushed aside by komusubi Abi on Day 4 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Kakuryu took his second straight loss at the hands of No. 1 Myogiryu (2-2), who earned back-to-back "kimboshi" awards for defeating a yokozuna as a rank-and-filer.

    Abi (1-3) picked up his first win of the year and 100th career victory by driving Asanoyama out of the ring with a relentless assault of thrusts and shoves in their Day 4 match-up.

    Asanoyama had been the last undefeated wrestler among the "sanyaku" ranks, the three below yokozuna, in his quest to capture a second makuuchi-division championship.

    No. 2 Hokutofuji and No. 4 Shodai headline a group of four wrestlers in the lead at 4-0.

    In the final bout of the day, Kakuryu took Myogiryu back but the maegashira rallied, securing a double-handed inside grip on the yokozuna's belt and keeping him off balance while driving him out.

    "I was able to perform my brand of sumo today and it felt really good," Myogiryu said. "He had me on the ropes but I just tried to do whatever I could and somehow was able to get both hands inside. I've never experienced anything like this before, I'm really happy."

    Endo suffered his first loss of the 15-day meet, getting tripped up in his bout with ozeki Takakeisho (3-1).

    The maegashira took control and kept Takakeisho fighting for space at the edge, but the ozeki lunged away at an opportune moment and connected on a well-timed thrust to twist his opponent to the clay.

    Endo had beaten grand champions Hakuho and Kakuryu in addition to ozeki Goeido in the lead-up to his fight with Takakeisho.

    Shodai defeated sekiwake Takayasu (2-2) and retained his share of the lead while delivering a setback to the former ozeki, who is bidding to regain his position at sumo's second-highest rank.

    The two wrestlers deflected one another with a big initial hit, but Shodai was quicker to seize the momentum as he forced Takayasu back and out.

    Hokutofuji caught a break and kept his lead intact after winning his scheduled match with Hakuho by forfeit.

    The Mongolian-born grand champion withdrew from the 15-day meet prior to the day's bouts with minor injuries after sustaining his second straight loss.

    Hokutofuji, who is gunning for his first top-division title, has already defeated both ozeki and handed Kakuryu, the sole remaining yokozuna in competition, his second loss on Day 3.

    Goeido earned his first win of 2020, beating new komusubi Daieisho. The ozeki was momentarily driven back but wrapped Daieisho up in a headlock and tossed him out.

    Two other rank-and-filers also share the lead after keeping their winning streaks alive on Day 4.

    No. 11 Kagayaki dispatched No. 10 Sadanoumi (2-2), while No. 14 Terutsuyoshi shoved out No. 15 Ikioi in spite of a 57-kilogram weight disadvantage.

    Kagayaki drove Sadanoumi to the straw after securing a left-handed inside belt hold and issued a final shove as his opponent tried to rally from the edge of the ring.

    Terutsuyoshi slipped to the side at the initial charge with Ikioi (0-4) and put the injury-plagued veteran on the back-foot before following up for a push-out win.

    The lowest-ranked co-leader, Terutsuyoshi made his makuuchi debut in Osaka last March and finished runner-up in his third top-tier appearance at the Nagoya basho in July.

    In other bouts, fans were treated to the first-ever match-up of Georgian powerhouse Tochinoshin and division lightweight Enho, with the former ozeki coming out on top after a display of brute strength.

    No. 5 Enho (2-2) was initially able to hold his ground and keep Tochinoshin (2-2) fighting for a belt hold, but the bigger man found his grip. He then lifted the 99-kilogram grappler clear off the ground and deposited him over the straw as Enho flailed his legs in a desperate attempt to stay in the ring.

    Swami
     
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  13. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Seeing Sumo Hercules (Tochinoshin) lift Enho out of the ring was humorous and great at the same time. I can only imagine what it would have been like if Tochi met him two years ago when he was even stronger.

    Not surprised by Hakuho's exit. One wonders if he would have dropped out with this fever and inflamed lower-back if he had won all his matches. :think: I know it's nearly a certainty now that he will soon exit but at least Kakuryu showed up today.
     
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  14. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Yes, it appears that Kakuryu is withdrawing too. More news to follow.

    Swami
     
  15. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Kakuryu pulls out of New Year meet, joins Hakuho on injury list
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 16 January 2020
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    Kakuryu withdrew from the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday because of pain in his left foot and joined fellow yokozuna Hakuho on the sidelines.

    The 34-year-old pulled out on Day 5 of the 15-day meet following his third loss the previous day against No. 1 maegashira Myogiryu. Kakuryu was not in top condition due to a recent cold, according to his stablemaster Michinoku.

    "I don't think he was able to pull himself together. He lost nearly 10 kilograms (ahead of the tournament) so I was worried," Michinoku said. "He needs to be fit again so he can train. He still has motivation."

    With both Mongolian-born grand champions out injured, the meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan will proceed without any wrestlers competing at sumo's highest rank.

    Hakuho, winner of the Kyushu basho in November, withdrew on Day 4. According to his stablemaster Miyagino, he was suffering from a fever, along with lower back inflammation following a heavy fall in his loss to Endo on Monday.

    Kakuryu was making his return to the ring at the New Year meet after pulling out of the two previous tournaments with injuries to his knee and back, respectively.

    He was also competing in his first grand tournament since he joined the Michinoku stable following the death of his former stablemaster Izutsu in September.

    He will forfeit his scheduled bout against No. 2 maegashira Mitakeumi on Day 5, leaving him with a 1-4 record at the tournament.

    Swami
     
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  16. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hatsu Day 5: Shodai among trio tied for top spot
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    Written by Super User
    Published: 16 January 2020
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    Shodai headlines a group of three men tied for the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament after besting fellow rank-and-filer Hokutofuji in a battle to remain undefeated.

    Coming off a day of rest, No. 2 maegashira Hokutofuji (4-1) had no response for No. 4 Shodai’s shoving attack at Ryogoku Kokugikan, taking his fifth loss in as many bouts with the former sekiwake. Hokutofuji had beaten both ozeki and yokozuna Kakuryu over the first three days of the 15-day meet before gaining a win by forfeit on Wednesday when Hakuho pulled out with minor injuries.

    In other Day 5 bouts, ozeki Takakeisho improved to 4-1 with a quick victory over last year’s champion, No. 3 Tamawashi. The ozeki was shoved back but used Tamawashi’s forward momentum to easily thrust him down.

    Endo (4-1) beat new sekiwake Asanoyama (3-2) to remain in contention for his first title. Endo had the initial momentum before Asanoyama rallied and drove him back, but the top-ranked maegashira turned his opponent around and pushed him out with a two-handed outside belt grab.

    Demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki Goeido (1-4) inched closer to losing his rank, falling to his fourth loss in a rematch with No. 4 Okinoumi (3-2). Goeido tried to push Okinoumi to the edge, but the maegashira slipped to the side and shoved him down. The match referees ruled that both wrestlers fell out at the same time in their first match as Goeido attempted to throw Okinoumi out.

    Sekiwake Takayasu (2-3) suffered another loss as Daieisho (2-3) rallied for the win. Takayasu had the new komusubi on the ropes, but Daieisho turned him around for a better position. The former ozeki went for a pull-down, but Daieisho kept his footing and drove Takayasu out. Takayasu needs at least 10 wins to secure a promotion back to sumo’s second-highest rank.

    Komusubi Abi (2-3) won his second straight bout in a clash with No. 1 Myogiryu (2-3). Abi shoved his opponent to the edge and kept up a thrusting attack to finish the maegashira off.

    Among the lower ranks, No. 11 Kagayaki and No. 14 Terutsuyoshi collected their fifth straight wins and remain undefeated in a three-way tie for the lead. Kagayaki shoved out No. 11 Chiyotairyu (1-4) and Terutsuyoshi, in only his sixth top-division meet, threw down No. 12 Chiyomaru (1-4).

    Five grapplers, including No. 9 Yutakayama and No. 17 Tokushoryu, trail the leaders at 4-1.

    Swami
     
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  17. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Another basho without yokozuna. It will be interesting to see how this yusho goes in the days ahead. Endo looks strong so far. Shodai also has had a good start as well. It seems Takayasu will have to fight hard to even keep his Sekiwake rank. Goeido too looks to be in trouble.
     
  18. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Another basho without yokozuna. It will be interesting to see how this yusho goes in the days ahead. Endo looks strong so far. Shodai also has had a good start as well. It seems Takayasu will have to fight hard to even keep his Sekiwake rank. Goeido too looks to be in trouble.
     
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  19. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Goeido needs a miracle now to avoid demotion. Kakuryu very close to retirement I think, and Hakuho too, they can't keep on withdrawing indefinitely.

    Swami
     
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  20. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Hatsu Day 6: Shodai takes sole lead at New Year meet
    Details
    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 17 January 2020
    Hits: 20
    [​IMG]

    Tokushoryu (left) defeats Terutsuyoshi © Nikkan Sports

    No. 4 maegashira Shodai forced out No. 6 Tochinoshin (2-4) to become the only wrestler with a perfect record after six days at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Shodai quickly placed his left hand under Tochinoshin’s armpit and bulldozed the 177-kg Georgian out of the ring. Shodai, a former sekiwake, is gunning for his first title.

    The 15-day meet remains wide open with six wrestlers, including ozeki Takakeisho and No. 1 Endo, trailing Shodai by a win. Rank-and-filers Kagayaki and Terutsuyoshi relinquished their perfect records as the meet continues in the absence of yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu.

    No. 14 Terutsuyoshi was pulled down by No. 17 Tokushoryu (5-1) for a disappointing loss on his 25th birthday, also the anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.3 and claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the area where he is from.

    Terutsuyoshi tried but failed to grab Tokushoryu’s belt following the initial charge, but was instead quickly yanked downward onto the surface of the raised ring.

    Kagayaki’s bout also left two more wrestlers with 5-1 records as the No. 11 was pushed out by No. 9 Yutakayama.

    The two ozeki won their respective bouts. Takakeisho (5-1) survived a scare against fan-favorite maegashira Mitakeumi (3-3) to remain in contention for his second makuuchi championship.

    While Mitakeumi appeared to have the advantage after pushing Takakeisho toward the edge, the maegashira lacked a finishing touch. When his opponent momentarily lost his balance, Takakeisho pivoted and shoved the rank-and-filer down with both hands.

    Goeido (2-4) defeated No. 3 Tamawashi in the day’s final bout. The ozeki pushed out Tamawashi, last year’s New Year Basho champion, to seal the bout in 2.9 seconds.

    Sekiwake Asanoyama (4-2) bounced back from back-to-back losses by beating No. 1 Myogiryu (2-4). Sekiwake Takayasu (2-4) failed to impress as he fell to his third straight loss. Needing 10 wins to earn re-promotion to ozeki, Takayasu lost momentum half way into his bout against top-ranked maegashira Endo (5-1).

    Swami
     
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