Some highlights for Day 2 of the 2010 Hatsu Basho!
Kotooshu v. Miyabiyama: At first, I thought the tall Bulgarian Ozeki was going to have issues with the mountainous West Maegashira (M2) Miyabiyama, as they grappled for more than a good few seconds.
The transliteration of his shikona, or ring name, means “Graceful Mountain”. I am not so sure that Miyabiyama was so able to “grcefully” manoeuvre his bulk out of Kotooshu’s okuridashior from-the-rear-push-out… once he got behind Miyabiyama’s 180kg (396-pound) mass - this kind of momentum needed only a good shove to send him over the rice-bale ring border!
Again, the aging sekiwake Chiyotaikai finds himself at the loosing end of a match, now 0-2 … having been pushed out with a blisteringly rapid frontal thrust (tsukidashi) by Hokutoriki, an East Maegashira balancing his loss yesterday against Baruto rather ably. As for Chiyotaikai, the cameramen zeroed in on his expression after the bout: the former Ozeki did not at all look pleased with himself.
In contrast - the 37 years old Kaio, the other long-time veteran rikishi and current West Ozeki, fought very well, winning with a yorikiri win by maintaining a vise-like grip against the 23 years old Goeido’s mawashi (belt), leveraging out the East Maegashira (M2) who in Day 1 had served a stunning defeat to East Ozeki Kotomitsuki.
Oh! And Kaio’s victory takes him to match the 807 makuuchi win record held by the 58th Yokozuna, Chiyofuji.
And speaking of Kotomitsuki, he is off to a poor start, with losing today’s bout with Kakuryu, a West Komusubi that has had a very up-an-down over the last year, moving between Maegashira and Sekiwake. Kakuryu won with a last-second toss-out (tsukiotoshi).
A relatively easy win for West Maegashira (M3) Kisenosato against the East Sekiwake, Baruto with an oshidashi push-out. It was somewhat painful to watch, and I must admit I was hoping for more of a protracted struggle between these two… and like his other fellow Eastern European rikishi, he needs to be mindful of his relatively higher centre of gravity (a weakness) and to keep his longer arms and legs as a means to deflect his opponent - yorikiri (mawashi/belt-grabbing) techniques can be risky if he gives up the arm-length advantage enough to let the opponent get a grip of his own!
And finally,the two Yokozuna bouts for the day:
Asashoryu v. Toyonoshima - A win for the playboy Yokozuna by way of a yorikiri (grab the belt and lift the opponent over the ring border).
Hakuho v. Tochinoshin - The plucky Georgian West Maegashira was easily handled out of the ring with a yorikiri.
Of course, for more detailed coverage including the Juryo and lower half of the Makuuchi division, check out the Japan Sumo Association web site - and I’m sure that Sumotalk.com will have something up today with their usual incisively humorous commentary.