- Fantasy Basho
Aki 2021 Day Five
Hidenoumi beat the luckless Kotoeko with the unusual ushiromotare, or backward lean out. Essentially, Kotoeko turned Hidenoumi around, but in the process Hidenoumi slow motion hip-checked him out. This was last seen in January 2016.
Somehow Ura topped that. Ura won with an okuritsuridashi. That is a rear lift out, and he pretty much lifted Daieisho at the end and spun around to set him out in one move. That maneuver has not been seen in Makuuchi since 2005.
Match of the Day
Maegashira 2 West Kiribayama versus Yokozuna West Terunofuji
Kiribayama gave it his all, and showed why he entered this match undefeated. He never had a fantastic opening, but he kept Terunofuji in an awkward stalemate for a long time. Kiribayama had his right arm around to get a grip on the back of the mawashi, but Terunofuji went under it for a left-hand grip. They stood side-by-side for awhile and Kiribayama tried to change grips. Unfortunately for him, Terunofuji found his opening there.
Day Five had a series of matches which made it look like someone had taken a hose to the dohyo before Makuuchi started. There were slip-downs, falls, awkward losses, and a general sense of things not going to plan. Two truly unusual kimarite were seen on Day Five (see above.) There were also two fusen matches. Hokutofuji injured his knee on Day Four. Meanwhile, Hoshoryu is out due to "acute tonsilitis," and he may only be out for a couple of days.
The final match was great sumo, and setup Terunofuji as one of two undefeated rikishi. He is joined by Chiyonokuni, who is at the exact opposite end of the Banzuke. After the last basho, it is worth remembering that a zensho yusho is actually quite rare. One of these men is likely to lose, and if you are making bets, Chiyonokuni is more likely to lose. Terunofuji isn't guaranteed to steamroll through everybody.
The group with one loss has some serious threats. Kiribayama's loss to Terunofuji put him behind, but his performance overall indicates he could be a yusho threat. Mitakeumi beat Tamawashi, as he has done repeatedly throughout his career. He has two yusho to his name, and he could keep threatening. Shodai absolutely blasted Wakatakakage with his stand-up tachiai, and he looks like he is back in his groove.
And most strikingly, the real Takakeisho showed up. At the tachiai, he hit Kotonowaka hard in the chest. While Kotonowaka stood his ground, Takakeisho began his tsuppari with odd rhythm trademark. This ended up in one massive shove that sent Kotonowaka completely reeling. Takakeisho is just at 2-3, but he absolutely needs 8 wins. The good version that showed up on Day Five could beat anyone.
One-third of the basho is down, and Terunofuji is sitting on the top of the Yusho Arasoi. Yet the sumo of Day Five shows that really anything could happen. A yusho isn't guaranteed, which makes the next ten days even more exciting.