Hatsu 2022 Day Seven
Sosohurai. Akua seemed to be bracing against a throw from Ishiura, so Ishiura just took his left leg and went behind Akua's right leg. That is a "bottom sweep," and it looked incredible.
Match of the Day
Maegashira #6 East Hoshoryu versus Maegashira #9 East Chiyonokuni
Chiyonokuni began the match by successfully blowing up Hoshoryu's attempts at a mawashi grip. After going backwards, Hoshoryu grabbed an iffy grip and shifted momentum. Chiyonokuni then went for a headlock throw. Somehow, as both men were flipping over to the ground, Hoshoryu managed to float in the air. Chiyonokuni's hand went down first, although Hoshoryu was horizontal in the air first. Then all of Chiyonokuni went down. That was something from Hoshoryu.
Mitakeumi stands alone atop the Yusho Arasoi. He took a hard shove from Tamawashi at the start of the match, but regrouped quickly and won with an efficient yorikiri. When he did that, he knew that he was already the sole leader. That match was the kind of sumo that makes Mitakeumi look invincible. He can just be so effective with a controlled bulldozing that he shouldn't lose. And he didn't after Abi took his first loss.
Abi's loss wasn't spectacular. Onosho can shove as well as anyone, and he didn't get rocked back as hard at the dohyo as Abi would have liked. Instead, Onosho went after Abi's arms, deflected his attack, and sent him down. That formula isn't a guaranteed win against a dancer like Abi, but it shows some vulnerability. He could still challenge for the yusho, and he is a threat. Just a threat one win behind Mitakeumi.
Terunofuji resolidified his position with a win over Endo. Endo initially gave him trouble with one of his awkward inside grips. Yet that wasn't enough to trouble Terunofui to the point of almost losing. Once again, Terunofuji won with a dominant ending after a questionable start. Being able to do that is Yokozuna level sumo, but Terunofuji would probably rather be dominant throughout a match. Someone can still get him, it seems.
Although Mitakeumi, Terunofuji, and Abi are still the trio ahead of everyone else, the chase pack at 2 losses is intriguing. Tamawashi has already shown what he can do, and Takarafuji and Kotoeko are relatively low on the Banzuke for their true level. The real threats may be Onosho and Kotonowaka. Each man could be elevating his sumo. Onosho has been wildly up and down since a 2018 injury when he was a 21 year old Komusubi. He may be finding a footing again, or he could get wobbly again. Kotonowaka is a 24 year old third generation wrestler who is establishing himself, and he could shoot up the rankings soon. Both have the ability to do damage for Hatsu.
It is still Mitakeumi's basho at this point. He has yet to lose and now that separates him from every other rikishi. As is always the case, you'd rather be in the position to just not lose. Mitakeumi doesn't need anyone else to fall for him to lift the Emperor's Cup. Of course, he's guaranteed to see Terunofuji at some point, and Abi will be an opponent if he keeps winning. The other possibility is a faint hope at Ozeki, which would probably require a 13-2 or better yusho. It would be a lot, but Mitakeumi still has it in play.