Kyushu Ones to Watch
Text by Carolyn Todd
Photos by Barbara Ann Klein
|higher division and more experienced rikishi.
Toyozakura: I was all doom and gloom about his brother before Aki but I was really happy to see how both Muko brothers ended up. With all the probable demotions from makunouchi, it looks as though Toyo will get a great promotion, but what will he do with it? This is a guy who writes the kanji for sanyaku in the air before every bout to focus on his goal, so he’s definitely not without ambition, but last time he was in makunouchi he got bounced straight back out again. Will he be out of his depth higher up the banzuke? I’m going to stick my neck out and say that he’ll be OK, and he’ll make KK.
| Ama: Yet
again, Ama’s one to watch in Kyushu. He was in overdrive in Tokyo and
then won the one-day tournament. He seems to be in high spirits with
renewed confidence and Kyushu will see him just below sanyaku. He’s
aiming to put on more weight and as that’s been his only previous
disadvantage, it’ll be exciting to see how added bulk will affect his
performance. I think he’s over his performance blip and will be a
serious threat in Kyushu.
been watching Sawai/Goeido closely since the beginning of his career so
it almost seems as if it’s taken forever for him to reach juryo, but
it’s only been 10 basho. Kyushu will see him joining his long-term
rival Tochiozan and hopefully his back problems are under control,
putting him back on course to fulfil his potential. His heya-mate
Hochiyama will be back down with him in juryo and it’ll be interesting
to see how they do at the same level. If his injuries are really
recovered, Goeido could take juryo by storm.
Gagamaru: We need to keep a close eye on Gagamaru. Now that he’s got his shiny new mage, I think it’ll give him new impetus to succeed, as if he’s been given that ultimate badge of office/honor. His 5-2 result will put him in makushita for the first time in Kyushu, the second highest ranked Georgian after Kokkai, a great achievement for what will be only his 7th basho. It’ll be interesting to see if he can stay fit and cope with the