Kyushu Ones To Watch
by Mark Buckton
Viking helmet on his kesho mawashi, is a star in the making. Rough around the edges due to a dire lack of time in the sport, his size and raw strength will take him to makunouchi, but will have to be built upon to propel him towards sanyaku and beyond. Still too keen on reaching over his opponents in order to use his long reach, he will notice the men facing him increase in size soon and will have to work out how to cope with that. Prediction for Kyushu – 10-5 or 11-4 and lots of talk of promotion to makunouchi after just two tournaments – ala another recent wunderkind in makunouchi.
Oft lauded for his straight on, almost henka free sumo, the 113kg Ama is still the lightest makunouchi man around today, but carries in that relatively small frame one of the biggest hearts in modern sumo. Lacking in nothing as far as guts and gumption goes, Ama is perhaps the only non-yokozuna Mongolian who is guaranteed to ignite the crowds several times per basho with his bagful of tricks adapted to ‘big man’ sumo. In desperate need of another 20kg or so, he is starting to draw comparisons to Terao of old, but will potentially
Didn’t fare very cleverly last time out, but Aki is like that. September 10th – who on earth would have expected Kokkai to collapse as he did, Wakanosato to vanish as early as he did and Futeno, despite his shonichi win over the yokozuna, to enter meltdown phase as efficiently and completely as he did?
Still, hopefully things will go a little better in November, prediction-wise – and to stretch the margins a little – I have included one makushita man and also the yokozuna in my comments below.
With Lon Howard wrapping up the Aki Basho then, all I will say here is congrats to the yokozuna, better luck next time to sekiwake Kotooshu, and good luck to each and every one of the men in the sport of sumo for the 15 days of bouts in Fukuoka in November.
See what you think of this lot and as always, comments most welcome to our Fan Liaison Director or Editor via the front page.
Yoshiazuma has been Tamanoi-
beya’s number 2 man since Kuniazuma of Brazil and Ohidake both called it a day a couple of years ago. Slightly too tall to successfully imitate the sumo of his heya’s top dog, Tochiazuma, the 196cm, 165kg Kumamoto native has been close to juryo promotion before but has never managed to make that final hell-up-to-heaven leap. By the time he is mounting the dohyo for his ‘home’ Kyushu basho however, look for more aggression and a real push for sekitorihood. Depending on his banzuke position after a 5-2 at ms19 in September and the Kyushu results of those in and around him, another similar kachikoshi could spell time for Tamanoi’s koenkai to shell out for a new kesho mawashi. Prediction – 5-2 and a shot at an oicho.
Securing a fantastic 12-3 record in his very first basho as a sekitori, the Estonian giant (197cm and 157kg at just 21 years of age – come shonichi) Baruto, the only man with a