Natsu Ones to Watch
Text and Photos by Carolyn Todd
|should bizarrely get him to komusubi after this
phenomenal and unexpected rise. So far he hasn’t done badly
against the joi-jin but it’ll be interesting to see if he can sustain
his performance. Previously he blended in with all those other ‘T’
names mid-makuuchi but now he’s a vibrant, smiley, confident presence
around the hallways. He joined sumo at the same time as his buddy
Kotoshogiku but, although he was initially faster up the banzuke, for
some reason it’s taken him much longer to show his full ability.
Hopefully now he’ll be a another young talent to energize the top of
So, Ichihara ended up 5-2 after the hype and attention, and lost his juryo promotion chance… However, he looked extremely strong throughout the basho and his result should be enough to put him on top of the makushita pile for Natsu. Barring catastrophe, he should get a pretty healthy promotion for Nagoya, and maybe this delay will be a good consolidation period for him – and give his hair a chance to grow a bit! That mage’s going to be a long time coming…
So, here we go again. Fired up by his marriage and the impending arrival of his first child, will Hakuho have the added incentive to make this tsuna run count? I’m going to say that he does. After the fiasco of his first attempt, with discussions of his yokozuna dohyo iri style and his victory parade before he was anywhere near promotion, this time, after the crashing down to earth of injury and kyujo, he’s kept his head down and seems to be focussing on actually deserving promotion instead of celebrating the alleged foregone conclusion of his yokozunahood.
It can be said, and has been said by Asashoryu, that his henka to win the yusho was unbecoming
|of a yokozuna aspirant, but that’s a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ sour grapes
response. Instead of cowering in the face of Asa as other sekitori have
admitted to doing, he demonstrated that he has the mental strength to
play the yokozuna at his own game, and that’s how he’ll eventually
succeed because Asa will have a harder time beating him psychologically.
So what’s going on here?? Toyonoshima has surprised everyone with his form in the last two basho. Hatsu basho could have been a blip, to be followed by a crashing makekoshi, but no.
ToyonoshimaHe only just got kachikoshi but in this game that’s enough, and