Sumo Update Day 11: Advantage Hakuho

Josh HornikContributor IMarch 25, 2009

Asashoryu blinked first, losing on day 10 to Harumafuji.  Harumafuji got a grip on his belt with a super-fast move at the faceoff, spun Asashoryu back toward the edge and pushed him out, all in about 1.5 seconds. 

Meanwhile, Hakuho had a tough one on day 10 against Kotomitsuki, but won it and followed that up with an easy win today over Kisenosato to stay undefeated.  Of course, as long as Asashoryu can stay within one of Hakuho, he can tie him up with a win on the Sunday to force a playoff.

Everyone else is out of the tournament, at least three back with only four days to go.

Surprisingly, the closest competitor is Kaio, who has had a few good matches but still has to face both Yokozunas, so expect an average final win total.  Homasho is continuing his march back up to the top of the ranks, matching last tournament by getting his kachikoshi (winning record of at least eight wins) on day 11.  Also hot is Chiyohakuho, still in his first year in the majors, riding a five-match win streak to an 8-3 record.

Koto'oshu has been mediocre, as always.  Harumafuji has gotten two strong wins today and yesterday over Asashoryu and Kotomitsuki, but still has a poor 7-4 record.  And Kotomitsuki is 6-5 and needs to go 2-2 in his last four days to keep his rank of Ozeki.

Youngster Yamamotoyama has been in freefall, losing five of seven after winning his first four, and looking like it might be a struggle just to get a winning 8-7 record.

Also struggling: Baruto, at 4-7, and one loss away from falling from his Sekiwake rank.  It might be an injury, since he doesn't seem to have any of the power he usually has, and has pretty much look confused and inept this whole tournament.

Match of the day tomorrow: Hakuho vs. Harumafuji