Natsu 2021 Day Ten
Terutsuyoshi took a calm and measured approach, staying in on the much bigger Chiyomaru. Then, he unloaded a shitatehineri, the twisting underarm throw, to send the big man over and down.
Match of The Day
Maegashira 5 East Hoshoryu versus Maegashira 1 West Hokutofuji
Hokutofuji got the better of the tachiai, to the point that Hoshoryu looked like he might be overwhelmed. Instead, he planted his feet, held up, and went for Hokutofuji's legs. That didn't get him the win, but did get Hokutofuji sideways. From there, it was a rather easy time to get the win for Hoshoryu.
Can Endo pull the surprise? This might be the big question standing on Day Ten. Endo is standing alongside Ozeki Takakeisho on 8 wins as the two runners up to still undefeated Terunofuji. Obviously, he'll need Terunofuji to slip up multiple times, plus have Takakeisho fall at least once. But if that happens, Endo is the only one poised to take advantage. Anyone else needs to have Terunofuji lose three times over the last five days.
Endo has only ever been near the chase for an Emperor's Cup once. In September 2016, he achieved 13 wins and a Jun-Yusho from Maegashira 14. In that basho, he never met eventual winner Goeido. Goeido went undefeated then, and Endo already had two losses on Day 11. In the last few days of a basho, over his whole career, Endo has never been in serious contention for the Yusho. Now is his chance.
On Day Eleven, he will get Chiyotairyu, another veteran rikishi with a strong performance at a lower rank. If 7-3 Chiyotairyu gets the win, Endo won't stand a chance of playing a role in the yusho drama. If Endo wins, he will likely face either Takakeisho or Terunofuji on Day Twelve. (Or not, predicting a sumo schedule can be a challenge.) Then it would really be on for him. Endo has had a good career, with a few Sanyaku appearances, but this could be his moment.
It would be a nice story, but don't bet on it. The past few years have seen many surprising Maegashira yusho wins, but Endo faces a different challenge. Right now, one Ozeki is doing very well in the form of Takakeisho. Another Ozeki is dominating, in the form of Terunofuji. The surprising Maegashira champions were usually in the lead because of weak performances by the top ranked men. Despite the notable lack of a yusho, this is an Ozeki dominated basho.
This is how sumo is built to work. A basho is made to be a giant eliminator. This function is best seen in the lower divisions, where the undefeated rikishi keep seeing each other, until just one rikishi out of dozens could be undefeated after just 7 matches. Makuuchi is different, but works on similar lines. The Ozeki and Yokozuna should never see each other until the final days. They are supposed to beat everyone else before then. Terunofuji is doing that, and Takakeisho has come close. Only Endo has a chance to survive the eliminator and come out on top over those two. But will he?