01/29/2024 (Mon) 08:46
Great return for Terunofuji!
The tournament ended yesterday. In juryo Takerufuji won the yusho, to my surprise. I don't know anything about him, he is new to this division, his last 6 results were good, but not spotless. Now a 12-2 result is very good one, but he fought mostly against the lower ranking rikishis, and next time he probably has to face Wakatakakage and Hakuoho, beside the top dudes.
So Terunofuji. He spent most of 2023 recovering. He had knee surgeries in both legs, and had "lower back problems", his spine is fucked there as earlier noted. I was hoping he won't re-injure, I know he might hurting and weaker for couldn't train with full steam during recovery. I have not expected that he'll be the central figure of the basho at the end, Kirishima's struggle for the yokozuna title was one theme of the basho, and then as Kotonowaka remained unbeated, his chance to get promoted to ozeki gained attention too. But with some unfortunate events, two ozekis were out of the race, and Teru beat the rest of the top wrestlers. In fact he just threw Kirishima out of the dohyo like nothing.
I'm still worried, it seems to be a pattern. He gets injured, then returns with a big win, then next basho he gets worse, perhaps have to leave in mid tournament, then have to sit out bashos recovering again.
As for Kirishima, my opinion didn't change, he is good, a top rikishi, and probably fit for ozeki, but not good enough for yokozuna.
And this is true for the rest. Hoshoryu is very talented, but fails at random matches - btw Kirishima too. Hoshoryu suffered minor injury pre-tournament, then the recurring abuse made it worse, so he couldn't finish the basho properly. He still pulled a very good 10-4-1 balance.
I'm looking at both of their records (these are on their Wikipee page) and neither has spotless rise in the ranks, their results are frequently just in the positive (4-3, 5-2; 8-7, 9-6), rarely a 10+. Not that impressive.
Compared to them the fresh rising stars:
- Hakuoho introduced himself in makushita with a 7-0. Then in juryo 10-5, 14-1. Then in makuuhci 11-4.
- Onosato's makushita record aint that good, but in juryo 12-3, 12-3, and now in makuuchi 11-4.
Granted shouldn't measure everyone with the standards of the retired yokozuna, Hakuho.
Kotonowaka is working hard. He has similar low-key rise like Kirishima and Hoshoryu. I feel more focus on Hoshoryu than the rest. So Kotonowaka is now collected 33 points in 3 tournaments. Usually for an ozeki promotion they demand 33 points during three consequent 10+ tournament results. His 33 starts with a 9-6. I don't know if he gets promoted, or they'll demand another 10+ win. He had an impressive form in the past two weeks, but the banzuke has three ozekis listed. That seems plenty.
This was an exciting basho, with some troubling illnesses and injuries.