03/27/2023 (Mon) 09:32
Yesterday Haru basho was concluded. I think couple of noteworthy things to mention.
First Ichinojo managed to beat Asanoyama in the race for juryo yusho. Which might not have been an actual race for them, juryo probably doesn't feel much of a thing. Their aim is the top ranks of makuuchi.
Ochiai, the fresh meat, started out quite well, reaching 10 wins. On the last day he had to face Asanoyama, and put up a good fight, the ex-ozeki had to work hard for their point. Ochiai has great promise, the is well rounded - not just in waist girth, but in skills, he is able to use different techniques and can defend against different ones. I think Slov said, he was amateur champion.
In Makuuchi, first and foremost I want to express my disappointment in Ryuden's performance. He got beaten 13 times. Will fall far back from his place at Maegeahira 2. He isn't that good obviously, but I expected something better. Oh well.
With Takakeisho suffering another injury, his dreams to become yokozuna have to be put on ice for a bit. Maybe one day. But supposedly Terunofuji is back from May, so it will be harder to win those yusho's that needed for the title of grand champion.
Hokuseiho's 9-6 score means climbing up in the ranks, that's good. But he is not that good, the boys in the upper ranks will beat him. He is quite stationary, and can't lower his center of gravity. He could compensate with strength, but packing muscle needs time.
Oho got it bad, only 7-8. From M15 he will fall back to juryo I suspect. He is strong for that, so gonna be back in makuuchi soon.
Shodai 10-5, gonna be back in sanyaku ranks. Takayasu I think is too old now to reach higher titles. Midorifuji will always be too small and light for the largest rikishis. He is great entertainment tho. Hoshoryu needs to learn humility, he is very good fighter, he puts in everything. Kinbozan is a promising youth, seems better than Hokuseiho, at least got better results. Wakamotoharu caught up with his brother. This will be interesting.
And for the yusho. Congrats Kiribayama! He had to beat the main contender Daieisho twice to become the champion. He is a sekiwake, and got his second double digit win in a row (11-4, 12-3). If he is able, then in May could reach the ozeki title, which would finally solve the lonely ozeki problem of the banzuke. Could he keep the title however? He also doesn't seem like a yokozuna material, but can never know. Takakeisho is neither, but has the chance.