Hatsu Basho 2019 Results – Wakaichirō Ken

Wakaichirō Ken finished his Hatsu Basho 2019 performance on Day 13, and my prediction was correct!  Before the basho, I predicted that Wakaichirō would finish with a 5-2 record, and he did!  This was a wonderful bounce-back showing by Wakaichirō.  Wakaichirō had slipped in the past two basho with back-to-back 2-5 performances, falling to the jonidan 36 rank, and this basho was a wonderful opportunity to end this skid.

Why did Wakaichirō perform so well?  While I think he is still injured in various places, Wakaichirō did seem healthier than the past two bashos.  He was able to overpower many of his opponents during this basho, which he wasn’t able to do as easily before.  At the same time, Wakaichirō did dip down in the rankings.  Jonidan rikishi can’t take a blow as well as sandanme rikishi, and I think it shows in these matches.  There were many rikishi that wanted to avoid Wakaichirō altogether!

I will say, though, that it is clear that Wakaichirō is putting in his hours.  His moveset is improving; he is avoiding bad habits; and he is becoming smoother with his transitions.  I really love seeing him set foot in the dohyo each and every time, and I am very excited to see the heights he will reach by the end of the year.

Below is a table that summarizes Wakaichirō Ken’s Hatsu Basho 2019 performance, followed by gifs of his matches.  I provide some commentary after the gifs, and I provide links to the matches at the bottom of the page.  If you would like to see anything else involving Wakaichirō’s performance in the Hatsu Basho 2019, please contact me at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com.

Opponent

Ranking

Current Record

Result

Method

Tochinoshima Masaki

36 West

2-5

Win!

Oshidashi

Miyakogawa Hiromitsu

35 West

3-4

Win!

Yoritaoshi

Fudano
Hiromi

33 East

4-3

Win!

Oshitaoshi

Asanoshima
Jiro

37 West

3-4

Win!

Oshidashi

Hokutoo
Toshiki

45 East

7-0

Loss

Oshidashi

Tenichi
Toshiya

31 East

6-1

Loss

Okuridashi

Tainaka
Tatsunori

35 East

4-3

Win!

Tsukitaoshi


Wakaichirō Ken Match 1 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 1

Great, strong start to the basho.  Wakaichirō is able to overpower most of his opponents at this level, which he did during many of the matches in the Hatsu Basho 2019.


Wakaichirō Ken Match 2 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 2

Wonderful heart and tenacity from Wakaichirō in this match!  And he actually wins a mawashi fight!  You don’t see that every basho.


Wakaichirō Ken Match 3 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 3

Great agility to avoid the pushout and great power to get the pushout.


Wakaichirō Ken Match 4 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 4

Wakaichirō easily thwarts the step-aside attempt, and then he uses his power for the victory.  This match put him at 4-0 and gave him the very early kachi-koshi!


Wakaichirō Ken Match 5 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 5

This was Wakaichirō’s first loss of the basho.  His opponent, Hokutoo, was recently in makushita, so Wakaichirō tried a little trickery to get the win.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  Wakaichirō got turned around at the wrong moment, which led to the pushout victory for Hokutoo.  Hokutoo would finish with a 7-0 record, but would not win the playoff for the yusho.


Wakaichirō Ken Match 6 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 6

At first, I thought this was going to be similar to Wakaichirō’s fourth match, but the long-time makushita mainstay, Tenichi, did much better on getting the slap-down after the step-aside.  No worries, though, as Wakaichirō’s record was still 4-2 at this point.


Wakaichirō Ken Match 7 Gif – Hatsu Basho 2019

wakaichiro ken hatsu basho 2019 - match 7

Remember that aggression from last basho that didn’t really pay off?  This time it did!  Wakaichirō expertly avoids the edge of the dohyo, pivots, and bull-rushes his opponent.  Wonderful showing!  This finished his Hatsu Basho 2019, and his final record was 5-2.


Such a great performance in the Hatsu Basho 2019!  Wakaichirō will probably find himself at the top of the jonidan division during the next basho, but there is a chance that he will return to sandanme again.  Either way, I hope that he continues to get healthy.  It would be great to see him climb the sandanme ranks in the middle portion of the year, which I think that he could certainly achieve.  Either way, NorthAmericanSumo.com will be rooting him on each and every basho!

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