Natsu 2019 Day Fifteen Recap
With a rather anti-climactic final day, the best approach is to focus again on the actual sumo.
M17e Chiyoshoma (5-10) wins by katasukashi over J1w Ikioi (4-11)
Chiyoshoma is still going down to Juryo, but he gets a small consolation prize with a victory over the struggling Ikioi.
M11e Shohozan (8-7) uwatenage over M14w Enho (7-8)
This was absolutely the best match of the day, with the two rikishi battling all over the dohyo in a variety of ways before Shohozan seals the kachi-koshi. Enho not only gets a make-koshi, but gets there by losing his last six matches.
M10w Onosho (8-7) wins by oshidashi over M13e Chiyomaru (7-8)
In the second 7-7 Darwin bout, Onosho railroaded Chiyomaru. Both men had their moments in Natsu, but both also struggled. Onosho might go up one rank, and Chiyomaru might go down one.
M10e Kagayaki (5-10) wins by oshidashi over M16w Ishiura (5-10)
Kagayaki gets one good win at the end of his miserable basho. Ishiura's demotion gets an exclamation point.
M9w Tomokaze (8-7) wins by oshitaoshi over M13w Sadanoumi (7-8)
In the third and final Darwin bout, Tomokaze secures his winning record over Sadanoumi. This continues the remarkable streak of Tomokaze's 13 bashos with a winning record at the start of his career.
M7w Meisei (10-5) wins by yorikiri over M16e Daishoho (9-6)
Meisei ends up getting the tenth win in the matchup with the equal-record after Day 14 Daishoho. These are great records for both rikishi in this tournament, and should see them move up the Banzuke well for Nagoya.
M7e Shodai (10-5) wins by oshidashi over M15w Kotoeko (8-7)
Shodai has a solid bounce back tournament after a five win Haru. Kotoeko, meanwhile, got his eighth win on Day Two and never won again for the basho.
M14e Tokushoryu (4-11) wins by yorikiri over M6w Yoshikaze (4-11)
Tokushoryu gets a conciliatory win over the increasingly lackluster Yoshikaze. Tokushoryu is facing Juryo, while Yoshikaze might be facing retirement sooner rather than later. (That's fine, he owns an elder name already and apparently will be a valuable coach. Or he comes out gun blazing after this, continuing his pattern from the last year.)
M12e Shimanoumi (10-5) wins by oshidashi over M6e Takarafuji (8-7)
Shimanoumi not only got a 10th victory with this win but got himself a Fighting Spirit Prize in his Makuuchi debut. The Fighting Spirit was on display as he won his last six matches in Natsu.
M4w Abi (10-5) wins by hikiotoshi over M3w Tamawashi (10-5)
Abi and Tamawashi were squaring off for a Fighting Spirit Prize, and Abi came to win. He used his length to avoid Tamawashi's nodowa, then used the force of his double-hand thrust to turn Tamawashi's head. His body had no choice but to follow to the dirt.
M3e Chiyotairyu (6-9) wins by tsukidashi over M11w Tochiozan (6-9)
Neither veteran was in good form during Natsu, but it shouldn't be too surprising the higher ranked man prevailed. Both will be regrouping for Nagoya.
M2w Daieisho (7-8) wins by abisetaoshi over M15e Terutsuyoshi (6-9)
Searching for a matchup of identical records, the torikumi makers presented a match with a 13 rank gap. Daieisho proved why that isn't seen very often.
M2e Endo (7-8) wins by tsukiotoshi over M12w Yago (6-9)
Endo rather easily handled Yago, which means Endo arrests his slide down the rankings for July. Yago was about a step off all basho, and he might need some new approaches in Nagoya.
M1w Kotoshogiku (6-9) wins by yorikiri over M4e Okinoumi (5-10)
Kotoshogiku got his usual pattern, arms under his opponent's shoulders with the belly bump, to get his win. Maybe he won't face such a difficult slate in Nagoya with this record. Okinoumi will definitely see an easier schedule.
M1e Hokutofuji (7-8) wins by oshidashi over M9e Nishikigi (5-10)
Hokutofuji's seventh win guarantees he will be in roughly the same spot on the Banzuke for July. Nishikigi will fall even further towards the bottom of Makuuchi and needs to rediscover his sumo.
K1w Mitakeumi (9-6) wins by yorikiri over M8w Asanoyama (12-3)
Considering how the other matches were made, this match might have been for Sekiwake East in Nagoya. If so, Mitakeumi pipped the yusho winner. Asanoyama had already secured his championship, so it's sensible that Mitakeumi had the stronger desire to win and was willing to try more risks.
M5w Ryuden (10-5) wins by uwatenage over K1e Aoiyama (6-9)
Ryuden was fighting for a Technique Prize, and a successful throw got him there. Aoiyama seemed a step slow all tournament, which Ryuden exploited with his steady, patient sumo. Ryuden will be just on the edge of Sanyaku.
S1e Ichinojo (5-7-3) wins by hatakikomi over M5e Myogiryu (6-9)
Ichinojo made his record less problematic with a final day win. More strikingly, he absorbed Myogiryu's tachiai, then immediately sent him down to the clay. That looked more like the Ichinojo who won 14 matches in Haru.
O1w Takayasu (9-6) wins by yorikiri over S1w Tochinoshin (10-5)
Tochinoshin needed 10 wins to be back at Ozeki for the next basho, and Takayasu made sure he ended up with exactly ten. Both men are Ozeki starting now (unofficially), but Takayasu seemed to prove the point that he has been an Ozeki longer and without a brief sojourn back down to Sekiwake.
Y1w Kakuryu (11-4) wins by yorikiri over O1e Goeido (9-6)
Kakuryu gets an 11th win and the jun-Yusho, which isn't much to write home about for a Yokozuna. Goeido, meanwhile, will also probably not be happy with 9 wins. A fitting anticlimactic musubi no ichiban for an anticlimactic Day 15.