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View Full Version : Tokyo Basho 1/2009 & the stumbling first steps of the new Ozeki.



jonpalombi
13th January 2009, 02:55
.Greetings All,

As Sekiwake Ama has been promoted to Ozeki (Champion), the expectations about his possible rise to Yokozuna (Grand Champion) have run rampant. As it has often been speculated, jumping-the-gun, it is once more the same old song. Now, why is it that when a rikishi attains the rank of Ozeki, do the media immediately start this premature conclusion? Sadly, the newly re-named Harumafuji has been beaten two days in a row! Today's loss to ex-Ozeki Miyabiyama was quite embarrassing to the new Ozeki. Probably the sophomore jinx or perhaps the spot-light of recent promotion jitters? Now, I really like Harumafuji (Ama) and can sympathize with his situation. Even so, is this the portrait of a potential Yokozuna? "Not bloody likely!"
Speaking of Yokozunas, Asashoryo has been on the war-path, with quite a chip on his shoulder. :redhot: With 2 wins to his credit, he is definitely determined to prove himself (despite a poor showing during jungyo matches). Yokozuna Hakuho have shown himself to be a Grand Champion of the highest caliber. He is, arguably the obvious pick for the Yusho winner. Yes? Any other predictions? Any observations and/or opinions from the Great White North (John McCulloch)? At any rate, it looks to be a top-notch New Year's Basho! Happy New Year Guys!

Be well and practice often, Jon Palombi :smilejapa

Josh Reyer
13th January 2009, 05:09
New-Ozeki basho are almost always mediocre for the New Ozeki. This is because the between new promotion and the next basho are extremely busy with various social events, parties, interviews, publicity and the like that cut into keiko time, as well as the mental pressures and releases of becoming Ozeki. Once the promotion is achieved, the concentration required to clear the hurdle dissipates, and is replaced with Ozeki-debut jitters. Usually they're back to normal after the first basho.

First example, Chiyonofuji clinched Ozeki with a 14-1 yusho as a Sekiwake. His first Ozeki basho? He lost his first day and went on to finish 11-4. Akebono went 9-6 in his first Ozeki basho, as did Musashimaru. Asashoryu himself started strong, but crumbled in the second half, finishing 10-5.

Also, don't count Harumafuji out just yet. He lost the first two days of his Ozeki-clinching basho as well.

John McCulloch
14th January 2009, 02:51
Good basho so far.

Day 4 will see an interesting battle between the winless superstars Harumafuji and Kisenosato. If Harumafuji loses I think he'll have a dreadful Basho but will claim a Yokozuna scalp later on to save some face.

As for the basho overall, Kotooshu, Kaio, Asashoryu and Hakuho have had great starts. I'm very impressed by the intensity of Asashoryu (especially after his recent absences and abyssmal pre-Basho keiko) but am concerned about his elbow holding up. So, my prediction is either Kotooshu or Kaio. :eek: I can't recall Kaio having such a good start in the past 3-4 years.

Hakuho is of course extremely capable, is big and strong and is also healthy. My concern with him is that he seems mentally "flat" sometimes in the second half of Basho and with strong opposition I think it'll cost him.

Best wishes,

John McCulloch
22nd January 2009, 17:53
"If Harumafuji loses I think he'll have a dreadful Basho but will claim a Yokozuna scalp later on to save some face."

Hakuho vs Harumafuji (http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=a6aK-zRSmAc)

Told you! :D

Yours smugly,

John McCulloch
27th January 2009, 03:16
Talking to myself here...

The Hatsu Basho came down to a play off between Yokozuna Hakuho and Asashoryu.

Could Asashoryu prevail even with a bum elbow??? :(

Feel the tension! :p

See the salt fly! :eek:

All the action and more HERE! (http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=fl7lXNdh9o8)

Andrew S
27th January 2009, 19:32
I caught the last bout and play-off on NHK.
Looks like Asashoryu's hinkaku is being heavily criticized again for his posturing on the dohyo after winning.