Welcome back to the fifth and final installment of our 3-Day review series of November’s Sumo basho! In this review, we shall be looking at the closing stages of the November meet and assessing the yusho winner
Too little too late for Enho
It was a poor tournament for the Maegashira #11 and fan favourite, Enho; after suffering a win drought from Day 1 through to Day 8, the young rikishi clawed back some impressive victories against Aoiyama (6-9) and Chiyotairyu (9-6) on Days 9 and 10, only to once again relapse into a losing streak until Day 15 (final day), where he overcame Tobizaru (6-9) in an extraordinary bout!
Enho’s recent lack of form appears to be linked with the relagation of his stablemate, Ishiura, from Maegashira #13 to Juryo #3 in November, in addition to the loss of another high-class practice partner in Yokozuna Hakuho – who was absent from this tournament since he is still recovering from an injury.
Enho is reportedly being relagated down to Juryo, along with Kotoyuki (source: Tachiai.org)
A consolation for Enho will be that his relagated stablemate Ishiura has put in a strong performance for promotion within Juryo, finishing with an 8 win and 7 losses record and should therefore be representative of the top Juryo standard and be perfect for Enho to train with.
Enho ends the tournament with a 3 win and 12 losses make-koshi (more losses than wins).
Decent Basho for top Maegashira rikishi
Hokutofuji (Maegashira #4) had an excellent tournament this November, finishing with 11 wins and 4 losses. Hokutofuji has fought well against top rikishi, defeating the likes of Komusubi Takayasu (8-7) and Maegashira #2 Daieisho (10-5) and marking his highest scoring tournament since January – where he also achieved a tournament record of 11-4 (ranked Maegashira #2).
Maegashira #10 Ryuden and Maegashira #7 Tochinoshin both enjoyed a well-deserved 9 wins and 6 losses kachi-koshi (more wins than losses) tournament record. Ryuden, after losing his opening bout against Maegashira #9 Kotoeko (6-9), scored a 5 Day winning streak, suffered another defeat against Maegashira #16 Akua and then finished winning 4 out of the final 8. For Tochinoshin, November was his second highest scoring tournament of 2020, with the July basho being the only tournament where he scored more wins (10 wins and 5 losses). Both rikishi will be pleased with their kachi-koshi records and will be hoping to carry their forms through to the January meet.
November Delight for Takakeisho – Tough Defeat for Terunofuji
November’s two top yusho contenders, Ozeki Takakeisho and Komusubi Terunofuji faced off in the final bout of Day 15: both rikishi had a close bout, with Takakeisho seeming to have had the early momentum over his lower ranked challenger, however, a resurgent Terunofuji struck back against the Ozeki, got him on the back foot and took him down to win by abisetaoshi (backward force down)!
Terunofuji’s win in the final bout on Day 15 against Takakeisho placed both rikishi on an equal tournament record of (13-2), forcing the pair to replay the bout in a final “play-off”: this time around Takakeisho had a much better tachiai (initial charge) and got Terunofuji onto the backfoot from the onset. It was a relatively simple task for the Ozeki to force his opponent out of the ring thereafter and he won the play-off by oshidashi (frontal force out) to take the yusho.
Terunofuji will be looking for Ozeki promotion in January, whilst Takakeisho has been touted as the next Yokozuna, so long as he fights well at the next tournament.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of review and that you will join us again when Sumo resumes in January!