Haru Ones to Watch
by Carolyn Todd
|to Kotooshu he looks
like he’d run away. Maybe it’s fear of re-injury, but whatever it is,
it’s a huge change from how he hurtled into sekitorihood.
As for another ozeki, I’m worried about Kaio. He got KK but only just and he even voiced how difficult it was for him each day. When he’s on form, he’s unbelievable, throwing sekitori around like ragdolls. His technique and experience shine through but how long can his stamina hold up to make those moves possible? He keeps saying that he’s not thinking about retirement but if so, he’s the only one.
Tochiozan will surely make his makuuchi debut in Osaka after spending three basho in juryo, debuting at J11 in September 2006. His progress has been steady: 9-6, 9-6, and then a nice 10-5 at J2 in Hatsu, putting him in prime promotion position. He’s shown himself to be a good allrounder and, although he’s pretty light at 138kg, at only 19, he’s got plenty of time to bulk up if he needs. His debut should be a boost for Japanese hopes as well as for Kasugano beya as his entry will not only bring their makuuchi sekitori to four, but also marks the rise of a new generation for the heya. His long-awaited bout with contemporary Goeido will have to be put on hold again as Goeido’s still playing catch-up at J10.
to watch? Maybe everyone… Given the whole yaocho situation, Asashoryu
will be under the spotlight like never before. And he’s got a bit of a
problem: if he wins every bout, people will say that the yaocho theory
is correct. If he loses one or two or whatever, the yaocho theory is
still correct because obviously it was put on hold because of all the
attention and so he’s losing because really, he’s not that good. How
all this upheaval affects his mood on the dohyo remains to be seen. And
it’ll be interesting to see how the spectators react to him.
And what of the rest? Either they’ll be riled up and we’ll see some great sumo, or they’ll be down in the mouth and it’ll be lacklustre, or it’s all washing over their heads and it’ll be business as usual.
On non-yaocho topics, what of Baruto? He seems determined to take part, although we all know he shouldn’t. But does he really want to go ahead or is it just expected? Or does he fear further loss of position, loss of salary? But he’s risking his whole
Maybe we should be taking bets on which day he goes kyujo but that
would be tragic when we should be watching him developing his skills,
learning how to use his strength. Instead, I’ll be cringing and peering
through my fingers in fear of further disastrous injury.
With the presumed promotion of Kotoshogiku, how will the Sadogatake Sanyaku Trio fare at their debut gig? Although it must be a source of immense satisfaction to the oyakata, it’s a bitter-sweet achievement. So far, Kotooshu isn’t fulfilling his potential, Kotomitsuki is hanging onto his position fairly unconvincingly and only Shogiku has any oomph, and I’m sure he’ll be extremely happy to shed his heya Cinderella role and get some recognition. As for Kotooshu, I just wish he looked (and acted) a bit more committed – he always looks as if he’d rather be anywhere else. Asashoryu looks so confident that his opponents pretty much assume they’re going to lose, whereas if you said ‘boo’