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Hatsu Basho 2009 - Winners
Makuuchi Yusho:K Tsuyoikaze (11-4; 115 points)
Juryo Yusho:J11 Kaiomitsuki (11-4; 113 points)
Makushita Yusho:m58 Tainosen (12-3; 109 points)
Gino-sho:K Tsuyoikaze (11-4; 115 points)
Kanto-sho:M16 Gaijingai (10-5; 103 points)
Shukun-sho:not awarded
by Takanotaki, 2009/1/28

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 15
If the Hatsu Basho is any indication of how 2009 will shape up in the world of sumo, then we are in for an exciting year indeed. Asashoryu, who many had thought was too washed up to compete on the level worthy of a Yokozuna proved the critics wrong by winning his 23rd Emperor's Cup of his career in a play-off against his arch rival Hakuho. Asashoryu now moves into 4th on the all-time winners list behind Taiho, Chiyonofuji and Kitanoumi. Ozeki Kaio picked his kachikoshi to extend his career for at least two basho while Harumafuji, after getting off to the slowest start of a shin-Ozeki, rallied the second week to squeak by with an 8-7 record.
In Sumo Game, Komusubi Tsuyoikaze defeated Komusubi Heikotoriki in a senshuraku play-off with 115 total points to Heikotoriki's 109 to pick up his first Makunouchi yusho. Tsuyoikaze picked up the Ginosho special prize as well, while WM16 Gaijingai won the Kantosho for his ten match winning streak in the middle of the basho. In Juryo, EJ11 Kaiomitsuki won the yusho based on a superior 11-4 record. In Makushita, Wm58 Tainosen won in a three way play-off, with his 109 points, to come from behind on the final day.
Congratulations to all the winners! Stay healthy during the cold and flu season and we hope to see you all back here in March!
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/28

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 14
Going into the final day of the Hatsu Basho 2009 the yusho scenarios for all three of the divisions are as follows:
In Makunouchi, a day 14 loss for all three of the co-leaders have made it a four way battle as Komusubi Tsuyoikaze joins the fray. On senshuraku, WM16 Gaijingai will face Tsuyoikaze and Komusubi Fujisan will square of with Komusubi Heikotoriki in a pair of head-to-head match ups among the 10-4 tournament leaders. The yusho will then be determined after a tie break between the two victors. Tsuyoikaze holds a commanding lead in total points, the first level of tie break, over his fellow competitors at 106. Heikotoriki is next with 100 while Fujisan at 99 and Gaijingai at 97 have the most ground to make up on the final day.
In Juryo, the yusho could be determined without a playoff or it too could become a muddled affair. At 10-4, EJ7 Bill and EJ11 Kaiomitsuki hold fate in their own hands, if one should win and the other should lose, than the winner will pick the title outright, if they both should win, then a playoff will ensue with Kaiomitsuki holding a huge lead in total points at 104 to Bill's 98. If both should lose, then WJ13 Tsurugame, Bill's senshuraku opponent would enter the play-off with his 100 points as of day 14. A win by WJ1 Mariohana, at 99 points, would make is a four way play-off but a win by WJ7 Rupatengu would allow him to join the play-off but would probably be eliminated with his 94 points.
In Makushita, a three way or four way playoff will determine the yusho. As of day 14 a total of seven participants are now sitting on an 11-3 record with six of them facing each other on the final day. Wm25 Krokonowaka will face Wm40 Kyokuhagyo, Wm26 Koriazuma will meet Wm42 Moyazhopa and Wm44 Asahi will be challenged by Wm58 Tainosen with then winners all forcing a three way playoff. Wm69 Grokanohana could make it a four way play-off with a win over his opponent on senshuraku. Tainosen holds a slight lead in total points at 101 with Koriazuma at 100 and Krokonowaka at 99. Moyazhopa and Asahi are both sitting on 98 points while Kyokuhago has 97. Grokanohana has the most ground to make up at 92.
Good luck to the yusho contenders!
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/25

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 13
Scoring for day 13 of the Hatsu Basho cooled considerably to the lowest of the tournament thus far at 5.84 making for some very tight matches across the board. In Makunouchi, long time leader WM16 Gaijingai, after reeling off ten straight wins now finds himself in a losing streak that has allowed the field to catch up with him. Gaijingai's loss to Sekiwake Golynohana has now dropped him to 10-3 allowing Komusubi Fujisan and Komusubi Heikotoriki, both victorious on the day, to move even on the leader at 10-3. With two days left in the tournament, the yusho hunt is wide open once again. Also on the day, Ozeki Toshayate picked up his kachikoshi today to remove the kadoban label next to his name, however, Ozeki Sumio lost for the 8th time this tournament and will be kadoban in March.
In Juryo, both co-leaders EJ7 Bill and EJ11 Kaiomitsuki were losers on the day to fall to 9-4 allowing WJ13 Tsurugame, who improved to the same mark, to join the duo and become part of the yusho chase. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokonowaka got back to his winning ways today to improve to 11-2 to keep a one match lead over the field. However, on day 14, Krokonowaka will face a tough opponent in Wm26 Koriazuma who is one of a group six wrestlers at 10-3. A win by Koriazuma could tighten the yusho race up considerably going into the final day.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/24

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 12
On day 12 of the Hatsu Basho 2009 scoring for the day was one of the all time highest at 8.03 breaking into the top twenty and settling in at #18. A grand total of 18 participants got a perfect 10 on the day while another 62 members able to score nine points. Sadly for WM13 Sokkenaiyama, he became the victim of a 10-10 tiebreak with WM4 Flohu.
In Makunouchi on day 12, Komusubi Heikotoriki was able to defeat the tournament leader WM16 Gaijingai in close match to tighten up the division somewhat. Gaijingai continues to lead with a 10-2 record, however Heikotoriki now joins Komusubi Fujisan and EM10 Ganzohnesushi at 9-3 and now within striking distance of the leader.
In Juryo, the four-way tie was reduced to a two-way tie as a result of all the intense battles on the day. As a result, EJ7 Bill and EJ11 Kaiomitsuki are now sitting on top the leader board at 9-3. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokonowaka has a mini losing streak going to fall to 10-2. Krokonowaka continues to lead the division, however, a huge pack of 12 wrestlers are lurking in the shadows should he fail to deliver the goods in the remaining days.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/23

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 11
Going into the home stretch of the New Year tournament, leader WM16 Gaijingai opened a two match lead over the other competitors in the Makunouchi division to improve to 10-1. Komusubi Heikotoriki, in the group of those at 8-3, can pull himself within one match of the leader if he is able to defeat Gaijingai in a day 12 head-to-head bout.
In Juryo, both co-leaders EJ7 Bill and WJ13 Tsurugame hit a rough patch on day 11 to fall to 8-3 while EJ2 Zichi and EJ11 Kaiomitsuki were able to pick up a kachikoshi and pull even with leaders to make it four way race for the yusho. In Makushita, leader Wm25 Krokonowaka saw his bid for a zensho yusho disappear as he picked up his first loss of the tournament to fall to 10-1. However, Krokonowaka continues to lead the division by one win as his nearest rival Em42 Moyazhopa also pick up a black dot on the day and is now sitting on a 9-2 record for the tournament.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/22

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 10
On day 10 of the Hatsu Basho 2009 there was very little change on the leader board in all three of the divisions. In Makunouchi, WM16 Gaijingai continues to set the pace at 9-1, however, several of the two loss wrestlers dropped down a notch. At 8-2, Komusubi Fujisan, Komusubi Heikotoriki and EM10 Ganzohnesushi stay one match off the pace. The race could tighten up considerably after day elevens head-to-head match up between tournament leader Gaijingai and Fujisan or Gaijingai can distance himself from at least one of his competitors depending on the results of this highlight bout with yusho implications.
In Juryo, both co-leaders EJ7 Bill and WJ13 Tsurugame were defeated on day 10, however, they were still able to maintain a one win lead over the rest of the field as EJ11 Kaiomitsuki, having also lost on the day failed to gain any ground on the co-leaders. Both EJ2 Zichi and WJ4 Toonoryu, having won on the day were able to join the thick of the yusho hunt and are now one loss down at 7-3. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokonowaka remains the sole leader having run up a 10-0 record thus far and still holds a one win edge over Em43 Moyazhopa at 9-1.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/21

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 9
On day nine of the Hatsu Basho 2009, WM16 Gaijingai continued to add to his winning streak to lead the Makunouchi division with an 8-1 mark. However, Gaijingai failed to distance himself from the field as all five of the two-loss wrestlers were also winners on the day. Ozeki Tosahayate, one of those with a 7-2 record, can remove the kadoban label next to his name with a win on day 10.
In Juryo, EJ7 Bill and WJ13 Tsurugame continue to battle it out for the lead of that division at 8-1. One loss down and still very much alive in the yusho chase is EJ11 Kaiomitsuki at 7-2. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokonowaka has opened a one match lead over Em42 Moyazhopa and remains the only participant with an unblemished record on the new year. Moyazhopa on the other hand was upended on day 9 in a somewhat lopsided match but is still within striking distance of the leader.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/20

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 8
At Nakabi of the Hatsu Basho 2009 WM16 Gaijingai extended his winning streak to seven to take over sole lead of the Makunouchi division and improve to 7-1. Early leader Komusubi Fujisan dropped down to 6-2 after losing for the second straight day. He now joins Ozeki Tosahayate, Komusubi Heikotoriki, EM10 Ganzohnesushi and WM13 Sokkenaiyama who are also at 6-2.
In Juryo, WJ13 Tsurugame was victorious over EJ11 Kaiomitsuki in a highlight bout with possible yusho implications to increase his record to 7-1. Also at 7-1 is EJ7 Bill who was able keep pace after upending his opponent in a close bout. One match off the pace, besides Kaiomitsuki is EJ2 Zichi at 6-2. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokanowaka and Em42 Moyazhopa were both winners on the day to pick up a kachikoshi and share the lead at 8-0.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/19

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Day 7
Finishing off the first week of the Hatsu Basho 2009, there have been enough surprises to make for an interesting finish. Asashoryu, love him or hate him, continues to find ways to win and is now in a three way tie with Hakuho and Tochiozan for the lead. Before the tournament started, many were calling for his retirement but Asashoryu has once again proven that you can never underestimate the heart of a true champion. Although Asashoryu's schedule will become more difficult the second week as he gets paired off with a sanyaku regular, his fast start should be enough be enough to save his career.
In Sumo Game, Komusubi Fujisan tasted his first defeat of the tournament as he was upset by a struggling EM12 Igiski. As a result, Fujisan is now co-leader along with WM16 Gaijingai who having lost on shonichi has put together a six match winning streak to improve to 6-1. Kadoban Ozeki Tosahayate joins a pack of six others at 5-2 and is excellent shape to at least pick up a kachikoshi and perhaps challenge for the yusho down the stretch. In Juryo, EJ7 Bill, EJ11 Kaimitsuki and WJ13 Tsurugame are co-leaders at 6-1, however, Kaiomitsuki and Tsurugame will face each other on nakabi in a head to head match up. In Makushita, Wm25 Krokonowaka, Em42 Moyazhopa and Wm66 Benki remain undefeated at 7-0 for the lead.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/18

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Days 5 and 6
With the slight 'hiccup' of a missing day five update behind us, the Hatsu Basho is on track once again with no further problems. Scoring for day six was very high at 7.51 thanks to nine of ten most selected wrestlers winning their matches and for the first time this tournament we have several players picking up a perfect score on the day.
In the Makunouchi division, Shin-Komusubi Fujisan remains perfect at 6-0 and is sitting all alone at the top of the leader board. Nipping at his heels are Komusubi Heikotoriki, EM10 Ganzohnesushi, EM11 Randomitsuki and WM16 Gaijingai at 5-1. In Juryo, EJ7 Bill, EJ11 Kaiomitsuki and WJ13 Tsurugame are fighting it out at 5-1. And in Makushita, Em9 Romanohana, Wm25 Krokonowaka, Em42 Moyazhopa, Em58 Uyu and Wm66 Benki are still undefeated at 6-0.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/16

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Days 3 and 4
After four days of the Hatsu Basho 2009, choosing picks for the day has thus far been somewhat tricky as several of the heavy favorites have gotten off to a slow start. The biggest disappointment of the tournament has to be the recently promoted Ozeki Harumafuji (aka Ama) who has yet to pick up his first victory. Asashoryu, is back to his winning ways at 4-0, however, several of his matches have looked sloppy having won with trickery rather than the brute strength he is more famous for. As a result, scoring for the tournament as of day four has been so-so at 6.49.
In Makunouchi division Shin-Komusubi Fujisan, EM1 Konosato and EM11 Randomitsuki are co-leaders at 4-0. In Juryo, a large pack of nine wrestlers are battling it out at 3-1 while in Makushita, an equally large pack of nine wrestlers remain undefeated at the top of the leaderboard.
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/15

Hatsu Basho 2009 - Days 1 and 2
Welcome to the Hatsu Basho 2009! We hope everyone is well rested from the holiday season and ready for another exciting year of sumo. After two days of the New Year tournament, it is 'so far, so good' for both Asashoryu and Kaio who's careers are in jeopardy should they have a poor performance. In Asashoryu's case, a nagging elbow injury that he suffered in the Nagoya basho has added up to 29 kyujo days and calls for his retirement by the media and several members of the sumo association should he have another dismal performance this time around. For Kaio, who is kadoban after pulling out of the Kyushu tournament, retirement is more of a face saving gesture than a real issue. Kaio theoretically could continue to slide down the banzuke until being demoted to the juryo division before being forced into retirement, but has stated repeatedly that he would hang it up if ever lost the rank of Ozeki. At 2-0, both wrestlers are able to relax somewhat.
In Sumo Game we have 172 participating players for the first tournament of 2009, with only two new comers to the virtual dohyo. Also, this time around we have a grand total of ten sanyaku wrestlers including four at Komosubi. In the Ozeki slot, Tosahayate is kadoban and needs to pick 8 wins for the Hatsu Basho to keep his rank while Sekiwake Golynohana can get a bump up to the Ozeki slot with an 11-4 record.
Good luck to everyone and enjoy the tournament!
by Nushuzan, 2009/1/13


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