Haru 2021 Day Four
Terunofuji pulled out his fourth win with a nice kotenage. Kiribayama also threw Okinoumi down with the arm lock throw. The kotenage was also notable on Day Four because Kotonowaka tried it a few times on Tobizaru with no success.
Match of The Day
Sekiwake 1 East Terunofuji versus Maegashira 3 East Meisei
Terunofuji has been swallowing rikishi up all basho. Meisei was probably the opponent who did the most damage, taking Terunofuji to the edge of the dohyo by just getting deep inside the Mongolian's chest. Terunofuji managed to reverse his momentum, which led to getting back to the middle of the dohyo. There, the Sekiwake wrapped his arms around Meisei's and unleashed the kotenage.
The anyone can win any day feeling of the basho continues. Previously 0-3 Endo pushed out previously 3-0 Ichinojo for his first win, while Tsurugisho picked up his first victory with confident sumo against Hidenoumi. Those are probably more telling than any Sanyaku matches about how this basho will play out. Don't think records show everything or that any rikishi has a guaranteed win if his opponent mounts the dohyo.
Terunofuji's 4 wins stands out, but Asanoyama, Takakeisho, Takanosho, Takayasu, and Mitakeumi are all just one win behind. There might be a lack of yokozuna again, but there's no issue about the strength at the top of the banzuke. We're not even a third of the way through Haru, but so far the highest ranked men are performing well. The Sanyaku ranks are on a collision course with each other during week two.
Their opponents before then are not going to go lightly. Hokutofuji gave Shodai everything to get his victory in the day's final match. Shimanoumi, Meisei, and Daieisho gave a heck of a fight in their losses. These are the kind of matches which make non-upsets much more exciting, but also give a hint that upsets aren't that shocking. Anyone who is across from a Sanyaku rikishi is capable of beating a Sanyaku rikishi.
The lower section of Makuuchi is also providing excitement. Tobizaru and Kotonowaka both want to move up the Banzuke now that they've solidified their Maegashira status. Those two went all around the ring on Day Four with multiple throw attempts. Veterans like Chiyonokuni, Akiseyama, Aoiyama, and Kaisei are showing they have no intention of quietly fading back to juryo. These men, too, will all need to face each other. The survivor will then likely face the best of Sanyaku.
We have had just four days of this Haru basho. Yet those four days have been interesting enough so far. The next eleven can go many ways, but a lot of possibilities stand out as excellent.