The Aki Basho 2019 is over, and what a basho it was! In the top division, the seiwake really stole the show with Mitakeumi and Takakeisho going to a playoff to decide the yusho. Mitakeumi won the showdown, earning his second career yusho. He also went 12-3 in this basho. When paired with his 9-6 record last basho, he could get promoted to ozeki with a 12-3 record in November. Can he do it?
There were also lots of great performances in the lower divisions. Ikioi ran away with the yusho in juryo. Wakamotoharu and Akua did extremely well in makushita, and fan-favorite Hoshoryu did well enough to get promoted. This will be his first time in juryo!
Of course, Musashikuni retired. This was quite the surprise to me. I thought he would give it a little more of a go before retiring, but he must have believed that his injuries would never fully heal. The only way for him to reach juryo was to be 100 percent, and retiring was the correct choice if he felt that he’d never get there.
On the other hand, Wakaichiro had the best performance of his career! In this basho, he was ranked sandanme 67e. This is his highest ranking ever, and he had a 5-2 record! While Wakaichiro has posted 5-2 records before, he has never had such a good record against such quality opponents. Wakaichiro showed that he belonged in the upper ranks of sandanme, and I am thrilled that he did so well. I can’t wait to see where he will be ranked, and I also can’t wait to see how well he will perform in November.
Below are gifs of each Wakaichiro match from the Aki Basho 2019. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, please email me at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com. Otherwise, thanks for reading!
Wakaichirō Match 1 – Opponent: Fujitaisei Jukiya
Wakaichirō Match 2 – Opponent: Kamitani Genki
Wakaichirō Match 3 – Opponent: Komanokuni Joji
Wakaichirō Match 4 – Opponent: Baraki Genki
Wakaichirō Match 5 – Opponent: Hitenryu Takanobu
Wakaichirō Match 6 – Opponent: Ako Masami
Wakaichirō Match 7 – Opponent: Suzuki Yuto
What power! It seems that Wakaichiro is currently healthy and happy, which appeared to be a large contributor to his success. While he has been developing his skills over the past year, he has also been heavily bandaged. In the Aki Basho, however, he seemed more spry and explosive. I hope he stays healthy for awhile!
Also, Wakaichiro’s training has obviously paid off. He has clearly reduced his unnecessary movements. Earlier in the year, he would take too many steps and/or try to spin around his opponent rather than hitting them head-on. In this basho, Wakaichiro engaged in good, solid sumo. He made proper movements, and he went for clear and decisive victories. I want to see more of this from Wakaichiro, and I am sure that we will.