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Kyushu 2022 Day Nine



Yusho Arasoi

8 wins 05 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu 36 Maegashira #13 West Oho


7 wins 11 Maegashira #1 East Takayasu 20 Maegashira #5 West Nishikifuji 28 Maegashira #9 West Abi


Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Manuevers

Gasshohineri. Apparently there's a "clasped hand twist down," and it's how Ura beat Tamawashi.


Match of the Day

Ozeki #1 East Takakeisho versus Komusubi #2 East Tobizaru

Tobizaru doesn't seem like a rikishi suited to a heavy slapfest, but he was up to it on Day Nine. Takakeisho did his sumo and then some, not just pushing back the smaller man but hitting him with round-house slaps. Tobizaru was clearly impacted, but he didn't go backwards and eventually turned the tables. Once Takakeisho was headed back, the match was the Flying Monkey's.


Recap

Both Takayasu and Abi lost, making the one-loss group a two-person crowd. The leaders after Day Nine in Kyushu 2022 are Hoshoryu and Oho. For years, sumo fans had been expecting these two to contest yusho races, possibly against each other. They came into sumo almost at the same time five years ago, Hoshoryu in November 2017 and Oho in January 2018. They also both had Yokozuna relatives, as Hoshoryu is the nephew of infamous 2000s Yokozuna Asashoryu and Oho is the grandson of legendary 1960s Yokozuna Taiho.

Yet for all the predicted greatness of their early careers, they were not tipped for greatness in this particular basho before it started. They had somewhat parallel careers initially, but Hoshoryu began shooting ahead. He is a Sekiwake after steadily climbing the rankings, but he hasn't had an overwhelming performance in Makuuchi yet. Although high-level kachi-koshi were happening, Hoshoryu didn't seem likely to contend for an Emperor's Cup. Oho, meanwhile, was still struggling to show he could hang in Makuuchi before this tournament.

Now they share the lead after nine days. Both men have improved their sumo without changing their style. Hoshoryu is all throws, trips, and other tricks. Yet he has performed them in Fukuoka with a power and decisiveness he has often lacked before. A throw can be devastating, but not if the other guy gets the chance to counter it. Oho, on the other hand, is a big, strong pusher-thruster who still tries to keep an opponent off his belt, but he has learned to use his size and strength to hold off any attack. Both young men are fighting in a way that should prove fruitful in the next few years.

They aren't guaranteed by any means to be the two left standing at the end. Takayasu and Abi lost on Day Nine, but have looked strong all tournament. Nishikifuji took down Abi on Day Nine with impressive sumo. All three need just one slip up from Hoshoryu or Oho to be right in it. The two loss group also includes Ozeki Takakeisho, a former yusho winner who will likely get matchups with the top performers as the tournament comes to an end over the next few days.

For all of their joined hype, Hoshoryu and Oho have yet to face each other in the top two divisions. Technically, Oho has never seen Hoshoryu, since he was going by his family name Naya before his Juryo promotion. Kyushu is set up to finish with contests between men who have never won a yusho. That could be the former Ozeki Takayasu, maybe the best ever to never win an Emperor's Cup. More likely it will be a youngster winning his first cup, with the hope of many more to come.
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