[sumo] What's Next?
jejima at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 05:00:32 EDT 2009
Okay, my take....
On 31/03/2009, Jack Gartin <jacklg99 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 1. Will Asa come back - strong?? Or will we see him slowly give up his
> dominance of the sport? And perhaps retire??? I'm betting the latter by the
> end of this year or first quarter of next. He's the kind of guy when he's
> no longer king of the sandbox, picks up his toys and goes home. And when he
> does retire I'm betting it's not gonna be pretty.
I think Asa will come back strong. Before this year started, I was
predicting that he would retire early on, but after the January basho,
I have completely changed my mind. Apart from Hakuho, there is
currently no barrier to him winning yusho-after-yusho. I don't think
he'll give in so easily to his fellow Mongolian. I think (hope?) they
should have a good, healthy rivalry for another two years, at least
> 2. Will Kisenosato redeem himself and move back up to sekiwake? Or is he
> due for a slide, at least for a while?
I think he'll be back sooner, rather than later. Whether he can go
higher than Sekiwake is another question. I don't think he has it
what it takes - yet.
> 3. Will Goeido - along with Kise - the two hopes for the future - move/stay
> into sanyaku this next tournament or will they hold Goeido back and see if
> he stays strong then move him in July.
Kisenosato will be demoted out of sanyaku. Goeido will probably be a
Sekiwake in May. (Although Kakuryu could get that slot, I suppose.)
> 4. WHAT WILL KAIOU DO? Even the vernacular press is starting to ask if it
> isn't time to go. Not just the foreigner fans. I think/agree he wants to
> hang in and retire in/after Fukuoka in November. But the pressure may get
> to be too much. Certainly the body is visibly failing.
I think Kaio will keep on being Kaio. If he turns up for September,
then he will have equalled the record for the most Makunouchi bashos.
I don't think he'll be retiring this year - but I could be wrong.
> 5. Same applies to Chiyo. Can he come back? There's got to be some soul
> searching going on at the heya these days about his future. Remember his
> Shisyo (master) is Chiyonofuji (Kokonoe) who brooks no silliness or
> slacking. Hmmmmmm? BUT, he's the highest ranking Kokonoe beya rikishi and
> Kokonoe may want to keep him going for a while yet.
Chiyotaikai will come back, and will probably get the 8 wins needed to
save his ozeki rank. Even if he doesn't, I don't think he has said
anything about retiring if he is demoted from Ozeki (unlike Kaio), so
I would expect him to fight from Sekiwake in such an instance, hoping
to get the 10 wins for a repromotion the 'quick' way. I was very
disappointed with his performance this basho, and felt he should have
gone kyujo mid-basho, when it was clear that he was going to end up
with very un-ozeki-like numbers. To have the record for the worst
ever completed ozeki basho, to go along with the kadoban record, is a
little embarrassing, to say the least.
> 6. Is this the beginning of the Hakuho era - much asTaiho, Chiyonofuji and
> Takanohana started??? Has he got it all together and now just gets smoother
> and better? Gonna be a lot of fun this year and LOTS of changes coming, I
Hakuho is the third youngest ever to get 10 yusho (the youngest being
Taiho, then Takanohana, with Asashoryu now sitting in 4th place),
which is truly impressive. However, with Asashoryu still being on the
scene, I think we are currently in the era of two great Yokozuna. I
would fully expect Hakuho to have at least 20 yushos by the time he
> 7. Then there's Baruto. He looks increasingly like a strong candidate for
> Ozeki maybe late this year. His sumo is getting better and he's already
> strong as an ox. He just has to figure out how to deal with guys who are a
> lot shorter than he is. Get lower at the tachiai and plow forward seems to
> be the answer. We'll see.
I don't think Baruto is ready yet. He does have the potential though.
One thing someone pointed out on the sumo forum in regards to his
bout with Asashoryu.... He has got good defensive sumo - but he needs
to know when to switch to 'offensive' sumo. He has never beaten
either of the Yokozunas. Until he finds a way to do that, I don't
think he is ready for a move to the next level. I see him being a
strong sanyaku rikishi for a while, before he starts to make a bid for
ozeki. He has never had a double digit record whilst ranked in the
sanyaku - or in the upper joi-jin for that matter. Until he starts
getting the 'numbers' it is a little early to start seeing him as an
> 8. And LAST - really - of all: Who is gonna be the next Yokozuna
> candidate? That's always fun to watch for. There'll be some false starts,
> of course, but somebody will finally surface above the crowd and start a run
> for it. Maybe not this year but the beginnings should start to turn up.
> No, I don't think it'll be Harumafuji. Slick and fast, technically very
> good, but he loses his concentration at the darndest times and, then, loses
> the match(es). It's gotta be somebody with focus and technical skill. I'm
> watching Goeido. He looks like he's got the 'right stuff' but we'll see.
> Kisenosato, although strong and improving technically, doesn't seem to have
> the tight focus required. He'll be an ozeki soon, but probably not yokozuna
I would say that Harumafuji is still the best bet amongst those at the
top - but as an outside chance. However, in an era of two strong
yokozunas, it is very hard for a third rikishi to have two-in-a-row
stellar bashos to force a place for a third yokozuna. We may have to
wait 2 or 3 years - or for Asashoryu (or Hakuho) to retire first.
> There now, Let's have a civilized discussion about these and any other
> topics to fill in the slack, non-basho time.
9. I would like to add another topic. I am an Asashoryu fan, but I
felt he lacked 'something' in the second week. During his post-basho
interview, Hakuho said that he was able to (partly?) attribute his
yusho to his focused keiko before the basho. Now, this is not meant
to be a 'trollish' comment, but one for the other Asashoryu fans to
give their opinion on. Before the next basho, would it be better for
Asashoryu to shut out all (or as many as he can, as he does have
interests that need to be attended to) as many distractions as
possible in the couple of weeks leading up to the basho, and get in as
much keiko as possible, and stay focussed on task in front? He now
has a real foe in the guise of Hakuho, and can no longer claim the
yusho simply by turning up.
All the best,
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