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Hatsu Basho 2008 - Winners
Makuuchi Yusho:M2 Sumio (11-4; 104 points)
Juryo Yusho:J11 Araiwa (11-4; 97 points)
Makushita Yusho:m38 Titonohana (13-2; 100 points)
Gino-sho:S Susanoo (9-6; 109 points)
Kanto-sho:M9 Chocshoporyu (10-5; 101 points)
Shukun-sho:M2 Andoreasu (9-6; 102 points)
by Takanotaki, 2008/1/28

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 15
Wow! What a senshuraku bout between Yokozuna's Hakuho and Asashoryu. In case you were away and missed the final contest of the tournament, it was a classic! It looks as if Asashoryu is going finally going to have to compete for his yusho's down the road if he hopes to break Taiho's career record because at this point Hakuho is Asashoryu's equal. Personally, it was nice to see the news media here in Japan devote so much attention to the budding rivalry between the two because sumo could really use a boost in interest, especially among the younger generation. Again, wow!
As for Sumo Game, all three divisions had a bit of a come from behind feel to them. In Makunouchi, EM2 Sumio pulled out a final day victory to tie EM1 Yumezukuri with an 11-4 record and then win in a play-off with 104 points to Yumezukuri's 99. WM9 Chocshoporyu picked up the Kantosho, Sekiwake Susanoo received the Ginosho while WM2 Andoreasu was awarded the Shukunsho. In Juryo, WJ11 Araiwa was victorious in the head-to-head bout with WJ3 Randomitsuki to win the yusho outright. In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu defeated Wm56 Chisaiyama to force a play-off, however, Wm38 Titonohana, who also won on senshuraku, gets the yusho based on total points.
Congratulations to all the yusho and special prize winners, and welcome to the Asashoryu-Hakuho era of sumo!
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/28

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 14
Going into senshuraku of the Hatsu Basho 2008 all the division titles are up for grabs. In Makunouchi, the winner of the WM1 Yumezukuri-EM2 Sumio match-up will pick up the yusho. If Yumezukuri wins on day 15 he will have a superior win-loss mark over Sumio, however, if Sumio wins it would come down to a tie breaker with Sumio holding a 4 point advantage 97-93. This would be unsurmountable and Sumio would win the yusho.
In Juryo, the winner of the direct bout between co-leaders WJ3 Randomitsuki and WJ11 Araiwa would walk away with the title with no play-off necessary.
In Makushita, Wm56 Chisaiyama will win the yusho should he be victorious over Wm2 Toonoryu in a head-to-head match-up. However, if Toonoryu wins then it would force a play-off between those two and Wm38 Titonohana should he pick up his 13th win against Em54 Daiishi on senshuraku. In terms of total points at this stage, Titonohana holds a slight advantage with 94 while Toonoryu has 93 and Chisaiyama has 89.
Good luck!
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/27

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 13
Going into the final weekend of the Hatsu Basho 2008 we have a major shift in the leader board of the Makunouchi division. WM1 Yumezukuri, having put together a six match winning streak finds himself all alone at the top spot with a 10-3 record. Of the five members that had nine wins going into the day, only Yumezukuri was able to finish the day in double digits. On day 14 Yumezukuri will face EM12 Inakayama who is one loss off the pace at 9-4. Should Inakayama prove victorious, then not only will he join Yumezukuri at the top position but send the whole division in senshuraku scramble for the yusho.
In Juryo, neither WJ3 Randomitsuki nor WJ11 Araiwa were able to win today to keep that division tight in the final two days. One match off the pace are a group of seven others that are lurking in the background for another miscue by the leaders. In Makushita, a day 13 loss by Wm2 Toonoryu hands sole leadership to Wm56 Chisaiyama. Toonoryu falls to 11-2 and joins Em37 Kajiyama, Wm38 Titonohana and Em54 Daiishi who are looking jump back into the yusho hunt should Chisaiyama falter.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/26

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 12
On day 12 of the Hatsu Basho, EM2 Sumio was able to defeat long time sole leader EM5 Tsuyoikaze to send the Makunouchi division into an intensely competitive yusho battle with three days remaining. Both Sumio and Tsuyoikaze are joined by WM1 Yumezukuri, EM3 Tosahayate and EM9 Osutoriajin who were all victorious on day 12 to up their records to 9-3 and join the five way forray. On day 13 Osutoirajin and Yumezukuri will face each other in a head to head bout with yusho implications.
In Juryo, WJ3 Randomitsuki was defeated for just the third time this tournament to fall to 9-3 allowing WJ11 Araiwa to pull even in the yusho chase. In Makushita, a loss by Em54 Daiishi trimmed the number of co-leaders to two. Both Wm2 Toonoryu and Wm56 Chisaiyama are neck and neck with an impressive 11-1 mark for a share of the lead.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/25

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 11
Eleven days into Hatsu Basho and the leader board is beginning to tighten up in one division and thin out in the other two. In Makunouchi, EM5 Tsuyoikaze has begun to stumble as of late. After pealing off nine straight wins to start the tournament, Tsuyoikaze has been upended the last two days to fall to 9-2. However, he continues to hold a one match advantage over the rest of the field as both EM2 Sumio and EM3 Tosahayate lost on day 11 and were unable to gain any ground on the leader. Unfortunately, the losses by all three allowed WM1 Yumezukuri, EM9 Osutoriajin and Em12 Inakayama to join the thick of the yusho hunt while improving their records to 8-3. Sumio could catch Tsuyoikaze should he win the day 12 highlight bout between the two of them.
In Juryo, WJ3 Randomitsuki continues to be the sole leader with a 9-2 record with EJ5 Romanohana, WJ9 Zichi and WJ11 Araiwa one loss away at 8-3. On day 12 Zichi will meet Araiwa in direct bout with yusho implications.
In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu, WM 54 Daiishi and Wm56 Chisaiyama continue to set the pace with 10 wins each, with a group of four others one match down at 9-2.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/24

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 10
After 10 days of the Hatsu Basho 2008, EM5 Tsuyoikaze was handed his first defeat of the tournament by Sekiwake Ekigozan in a lopsided bout. However, Tsuyoikaze was able to maintain a one match lead over his nearest rival EM3 Tosahayate who saw an eight day winning streak come to an end. EM2 Sumio was able to outlast EM6 Fujisan to pull even with Tosahayate for the runner up position with five days remaining in the tournament.
In Juryo, WJ3 Randomitsuki was able to maintain a one win advantage over a group of four others by improving his record to 8-2. In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu, Em54 Daiishi and Wm56 Chisaiyama are in a three-way fight for the yusho after upping their tournament record to 9-1.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/23

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Days 8 and 9
After 9 days of the Hatsu Basho 2008 EM5 Tsuyoikaze continues to dominate the Makunouchi division with his 9-0 record. After earning a kinboshi by upsetting the Yokozuna Doitsuyama on Nakabi, Tsuyoikaze went on to hand Shin-Ozeki Norizo his makikoshi on day nine. One match off the pace is EM3 Tosahayate while EM2 Sumio, EM9 Osutoriajin and EM12 Inakayama still in the yusho hunt at 7-2.
In Juryo, none of the co-leaders were able to pick up a win on Nakabi allowing WJ11 Araiwa to pull even with group, however, on day nine WJ3 Randomitsuki become the first of group to become 'unstuck' and get back to his winning ways. Randomitsuki now finds himself sole leader of the division with a group six others one match away at 6-3.
In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu surrendered his leadership with a loss on Nakabi to fall into a tie with Em37 Kajiyama, Wm52 Kozaru, Em54 Daiishi, Wm56 Chisaiyama and Wm58 Shikoree. All six of the co-leaders won on day 9 to up their records to 8-1 and pick up their kachikoshi's.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/22

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 7
Heading into Nakabi the Hatsu Basho 2008 is starting to take on an interesting form. For the first time in many long years a two Yokozuna rivalry is finally starting to live up to all the hype. When Akebono was promoted to the top rank there was eager anticipation of an Akebono-Takanohana era of sumo, but that never really materialized due to Akebono's chronic knee problems that plagued him most of his later career. As a result, Takanohana went on to dominate most of the 1990's with his powerful straight ahead style. The second week of the Hatsu Basho seems headed for a much anticipated day 15 play-off between the Yokozuna's and hopefully a new era in the sport of sumo. As for the Ozeki rank, well, it could very well happen that the Haru Basho has two, possibly three kadoban Ozeki's or even missing an Ozeki if kadoban Kotooshu fails to pick up 8 wins this tournament. Look for some scrappy matches among these guys the second week as they all try to pick up a kachikoshi.
In Sumo Game action, EM5 Tsuyoikaze remains the atop the leader board at 7-0. One match down are Sekiwake Konosato and EM3 Tosahayate. One thing that should be mentioned at this point is that Konosato, should he continue on this pace the second week and pick up 12 wins, will be eligible for promotion to Ozeki in March. As for Shin-Ozeki Norizo, his slow 1-6 start has put him in a deep hole and really needs to rally if he is to avoid the kadoban label for next tournament. In Juryo, WJ5 Romanohana has picked up his first black spot of the tournament to fall to 6-1. Romanohana now finds himself tied with WJ3 Randomitsuki and WJ4 Kinkaizan who are also at 6-1. In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu emerged sole leader at 7-0 and is now being chased by a pack of eight others at 6-1.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/20

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 6
There was little change in the leader boards on day 6 of the Hatsu Basho 2008. In Makunouchi, EM5 Tsuyoikaze continues to set the pace with 6-0 record, however, the number of one-loss wrestlers chasing Tsuyoikaze was reduced to Sekiwake Konosato, EM2 Sumio and EM3 Tosahayate. In Juryo, WJ5 Romanohana remains perfect at 6-0 with WJ3 Randomitsuki, WJ4 Kinkazan and WJ11 Araiwa one loss down at 5-1. In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu, Em24 Takanokaze and Wm52 Kozaru are in a three way fight at the top of the leader board and are still undefeated at 6-0.
Scoring for the day was a bit above 7 at 7.07 to raise the scoring average for the tournament to 6.15. WM8 Mimawari, Wm38 Titonohana and Wm52 Kozaru all picked up a perfect score for the day to raise the total to five for the Hatsu Basho.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/19

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 5
On Day 5 of the Hatsu Basho 2008, scoring picked up dramatically at 7.61 which doesn't quite register as a top 25 day, but comes very close. Overall average for the tournament now sits a shade under 6 at 5.97. The bulk of Sumo Game participants were able to score in the 7-9 range with WJ13 Kaenkamiko and Em57 Sukiaki scoring a perfect 10 for the day.
In Makunouchi, EM5 Tsuyoikaze continues to set the pace with a 5-0 record while the number of one loss wrestlers was trimmed to eight. In Juryo, WJ5 Romanohana is at the top of the leader board at 5-0 with WJ3 Randomitsuki, WJ4 Kinkaizan, EJ11 Gonzaburow and WJ11 Araiwa close on his heels at 4-1. In Makushita, the number of undefeated wrestlers was reduced to five including Em24 Takanokaze and Wm58 Shikoree who both finished with double-digits in wins in November.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/18

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 4
Scoring for day four continues to be on the low side at 6.31 due mainly to the dismal record of all four of the Ozeki's. In fact, not a single Ozeki could put up a victory on day 4 and none of them have a tournament record above .500. One would expect a sub-par performance from a one armed pusher-thruster in Chiotaikai and an aging strong man, Kaio, but Kotooshu and Kotomitsuki should be off to a better start than 2-2.
In Makunouchi division after 4 days, EM5 Tsuyoikaze emerged the sole leader at 4-0 as everyone else in top spot dropped their first match of the tournament. As a result, 13 wrestlers are chasing Tsuyoikaze with a 3-1 mark. In Juryo, WJ5 Romanohana becomes the man to catch at 4-0 while a pack of five others are 3-1. In Makushita, Wm2 Toonoryu, Wm18 Sakana, Em24 Takanokaze, Wm30 Matayashi, Wm52 Kozaru and Em58 Shikoree are the early names to mention in this division and are all still perfect at 4-0.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/17

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Day 3
With more upsets of some of the heavy favorites scoring for tournament continues to be on the low side. Scoring for day three registered at 5.93 the highest so far, but overall average is still a paltry 5.31.
In Makunouchi, Sekiwake Konosato heads a group of six that have gotten off to a fast start at 3-0. In Juryo, WJ3 Randomitsuki, WJ5 Romanohana and WJ11 Araiwa are the early leaders three days into the tournament. In Makushita, a pack of 13 are still perfect including Wm2 Toonoryu who hopes to finally get a bump up Juryo should he pick up a kachikoshi this time around.
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/16

Hatsu Basho 2008 - Days 1 and 2
Welcome to the Hatsu Basho 2008! We hope everyone is well rested during the holidays and ready for another year of sumo action. This is the first tournament in almost 6 months without any real drama to report in the 'off-season'. Asashoryu has returned from his two basho suspension and is ready to pick off where he left off...proving to sumo fans that he is the greatest of all time. Naturally, whether or not Asashoryu can go beyond the legendary Taiho's career yusho mark of 32 will depend on if he can either stay healthy or stay out of trouble in the coming years. Either way, now that Hakuho has risen to the challenge and filled the void in Asashoryu's absence we finally have what sumo has missed of late: a two Yokozuna rivalry.
In Sumo Game, Norizo has been promoted to Ozeki, so for the first time in over a year we finally have a banzuke without any glaring holes in it. Also this tournament we have 11 new members to the sport to add to the total of 188 participating players. Scoring after two days has been low at exactly 5.00 but the days should get easier for picks as the basho starts to develop a bit of a personality.
Good luck to all and have a great tournament!
by Nushuzan, 2008/1/14


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