Hatsu 2021 Day Eleven
Match of the Day
Maegashira 5 West Okinoumi versus Ozeki 1 West Shodai
The musubi no ichiban was the most interesting match on Day 11, as Okinoumi and Shodai gave us two for the price of one. Not only that, but we had two mono-ii for the price of one. Each time, Shodai pulled a move at the edge and it appeared it didn't quite work. The gyoji pointed to Okinoumi both times. In match one, Shodai tried a heavy duty push, and Okinoumi balanced himself well enough that Shodai appeared flat in the air (unrecoverable position) just before Okinoumi stepped out. On the second one, Okinoumi's toe stepped out as he was trying to counter Okinoumi's last-minute counter throw. Officially, it will go down as an inadvertent step out for Okinoumi.
Onosho over Daieisho
Daieisho gets a second loss, by being outpushed. Sumo is always fun when it's strength versus strength.
Well, Hoshoryu pulled a very effective henka on Kiribayama. Midorifuji had another katasukashi, but he does that enough now it might not be notable.
Daieisho's loss and Shodai's narrow win means there is now a tie at the top. Also, since they've faced each other, a playoff is now a little more live of an option than usual. If you want to watch just two matches each day, find Daieisho and Shodai.
But more than two matches will matter. For starters, Asanoyama and Meisei are just one win back. Meisei gets his upset chance against Daieisho on Day Twelve. Things could be sorted out soon. Asanoyama has Terunofuji, who isn't exactly a pushover and has his own chance to reassert his yusho chances. The matchups will only get more meaningful as we go through the final four days.
A basho isn't always just about the top, though. While the large number of kyujo rikishi will complicate promotion and demotion, Akua, Akiseyama, and Sadanoumi probably need to have a 3-1 or better kick to avoid juryo. Kotoshoho's winless basho is starting to stick out as well. Maegashira 3 will protect him in the end, but he will tumble down the Banzuke for March.
In the lower Sanyaku ranks, no one currently has a losing record. Meanwhile, Daieisho has almost guaranteed he is worthy of a Sanyaku spot. A kachi-koshi also hasn't been preserved by any of the Sekiwake or Komusubi. All of those rikishi will be fighting with some extra vigor to keep their named ranks.
There are four days left, and hopefully they can ramp up to an exciting Day Fifteen. At the very least, the tie at the top of the yusho arasoi means each day is worth following closely.