A New Years tradition is sort of back!
As those who have been following this blog from way back, you will remember that before M9's collapse, there would be a New Year version of Sportsman No. 1. The New Year show was the Pro version where the latest winner of the Geinojin version participated. The rebooted version of Sportsman, Sports Danshi is now having their first ever New Years version where some Sports Danshi regulars take on pro athletes. Here we go!
Mandy Sekiguchi (EXILE) vs Tatsunori Tsujimoto (Boys and Men)
Whoops, while I was looking up Tsujimoto's name, Sekiguchi destroyed him.
Looks like this event is only between the geinojin guys.
Mandy is the "Power Monster"
Darvish Kenji (Golden Bomber) vs Wataru Mori (actor)
Mori's wife is in attendance of course.
This seems a little easier than the traditional Power Force. Or the rope is longer. This is just me complaining that Darvish beat Mori easily.
Toshiaki Kasuga (Audrey) vs Yuuki Nomura (son of Masaaki Nomura)
This one is a little more even and more like the Power Force of old. Love the overhead shot. Nomura just holding on. Kasuga making more forward movement but you sacrifice footing when you move forward. Kasuga has got it!
Gaku Sano (actor) vs Taishin Hirano (Magic Prince)
Gaku with less wild hair this time. Both are not heavyweights so this is an interesting battle. Sano tries to move forward and (like I said) loses his footing and Hirano with a sort of upset! Sano lost his balance trying to make his move.
Sekiguchi vs Hirano
What do you think is going to happen? Sekiguchi in a walk. I think what's missing is the guys who get whiplashed when the other guy just destroys them making their move.
Darvish vs Kasuga
More even here. But CMs first.
And Darvish in a quick one!
Darvish vs Sekiguchi
And Mandy with no problem!
Winner: Mandy Sekiguchi!
2 groups into one for the win. This is a stamina event.
Group One: Kasuga, Sekiguchi, Mori, Tsujimoto
Tsujimoto is our first to THSOFEP. Everyone else follows.
Just two have to falter for the other two to move on. Sekiguchi and Mori have the advantage as they are vets to the show. Kasuga looks to be the first in trouble. And he's the first out! He did reach a hundred though.Can Tsujimoto hang with the two former Spodan champs? Tsujimoto is barely getting his feet over but still going. Almost approaching 200 here. Woof. The announcer keeps pointing out that Mandy's heavier weight works against him. And he's out! And there goes Mori! So Tsujimoto is the winner!
Group Two: Darvish, Sano, Nomura, Hirano
Everyone has already THSOFEP. Hirano screwed up last time and knocked himself out by getting the rhythm wrong so we have no idea how long he can he do this. And Darvish is the first out! And there goes Nomura! And Hirano after that! So Sano is the winner!
So now it's Tsujimoto, Sano, Mori and Sekiguchi. The hurdles will come at a faster rate this time around.
And Mandy is already out! Did he get the timing wrong? Tsujimoto doesn't quite have it either. But it's Mori who goes out first! Tsujimoto doesn't have the conservation of movement Sano has at the moment. And that's it!
Winner: Gaku Sano!
Sekiguchi vs Hirano
Hirano THSOFEP not like it's going to help. Sekiguchi in a walk.
Sano vs Kasuga
Kasuga is quite proud of himself as he beats Sano.
Darvish vs Tsujimoto
And Darvish in yet another uneven matchup.
Mori vs Nomura
Wataru is not having his best competition so far.
Nomura with the early lead. Is Mori holding off the inevitable? Yes! Nomura finally gets that last push!
Sekiguchi vs Kasuga
Kasuga has constant smirk on his face that makes me want him to lose. CMs.
The Power Monster moves on!
Darvish vs Nomura
Nomura has a slight height advantage. Darvish with the early lead! But here comes Nomura! Darvish doesn't have all that great form. And that's it! Nomura moves on!
Power Wall Final
Sekiguchi vs Nomura
Sekiguchi with the early lead! (Nomura's dad was very stoic). And Nomura is storming back! Masaka! Has the Power Monster met his match? But now Mandy back in the lead! Still going back and forth. Nomura with a slight lead. May come down to stamina. And now Sekiguchi is making his push! But Nomura won't give up! Nomura is taller but Mandy is heavier. Can Sekiguchi make that final push? Yes! He's our winner!
Sekiguchi, Darvish, Kasuga and Sano.
Sekiguchi at 11m50cm to keep his lead, Miss and he's done. No problem!
Darvish at 12mXXcm. Did he get it? The warning lamp is on. It's close! The overhead doesn't clear it up. And no! The super slow-mo shows he missed and he's out! Whatever. He's quite sad and sheds tears. If this were a full show I doubt he'd reach the final.
Kasuga at 12m30cm. Again, miss and he's out. Not even close! 12m and over is a big challenge. Kasuga didn't have the speed to do it. Again, not a big deal. Add in the Fence-type events and a Monster Box and it'd be guys like Nomura or Mori instead of Kasgua and Darvish.
Whoops. Missed Sano's distance. Probably 12m plus. But the vet does it with no problem!
Sekiguchi to do 12m to stay on top. CMs first.
Back. And he gets it! With the back of his hand too. Nice timing!
12m80cm for Sano. Miss and it's Sekiguchi's. NO! Or at least it doesn't look like it. He looks like he didn't he make it. NO! His slide was off! In addition he wasn't going to make it. And that's it!
Winner and Champion: Mandy Sekiguchi!
Since 1996, 700 have tried! The "world" record hasn't been reached since 2006.
Tonight we have the three kings of the geinojin Monster Box, Mori, Sano and Hirano taking on two Oympic medalists, Oleg Vernyayev and Denis Ablayzin.
We go straight to 17 boxes. Vernyayev, Sano and Mori with no problem. Ablayzin is making his first appearance so let's intro him a bit. He's a vault medalist is known in Japan since he beat out one of the Japanese gymnasts at Rio at the vault. Vernyayev is Kohei Uchimura's rival in a sense.
Up to 18 boxes. No fooling around here. Everyone clears.
19 boxes. Whoops. Vernyayev's body was sort of out of control there but he's clear!
No one has THSOFEP yet. Sano is through! Mori has to do the ol' watch your butt but he's through!
If either of the Olympian's THSOFEP I'll die.
Whoops! Ablayzin DOES catch his butt for our first fail tonight.
Hirano is through and now Ablayzin has the pressure of being the first one out! But CMs first.
And then he does it with space to spare!
Vernyayev, Mori and Sano all fail on their first try! As does Ablayzin! His back just catches it.
Will Hirano be the first to clear 20? Yes! And that puts pressure on everyone else.
2nd try for everyone except Hirano.
Vernyayev first. NO! That's it for him. He didn't have the height on his jump
Sano THSOFEP. Oof. His left leg catches and he's out too!
Mori THSOFEP (that may be where Vernyayev went wrong). It was close but he got his leg over and he's through!
Wifey is wearing something different so this must have been filmed a different day.
Ablayzin THSOFEP! Awesome.
And he catches his foot! He's out!
It's down to Mori and Hirano. Hirano's goal is to go for the record and so far he's been perfect. And he's through!
Mori gets a quick digest because he's out!
Hirano is our winner! So! He goes straight to 23. Can he join Iketani and others?
He THSOFEP because this is the moment to do it. Let's CM before we know if he did it though.
NO! His jump wasn't high enough. He still has one more change though. Whoa! Hey, there's Naoki Iketani. Ablayzin also gives some advice.
Last try for Hirano. Can he do it?
YES! YES! YES! Hirano does 23 boxes!
And he'll go for 24. Can there be a new record after 20 years?
NO! He might have put his hands up too early.
One more try.
Good lord that thing is tall.
Hmmm..I wonder if the goal of this show is to "break" as many records as possible to sort of move past the Sportsman No. 1 era?
Back. Hirano's 2nd try at 24.
NO! He doesn't get it but he joins Naoki Iketani, Morgan Ham, Hisashi Mizutori and Yeo Hong Chul as the record holder at 23.
Shotgun Touch Challenge
The record is 13m60cm by Norichika Aoki (the geinojin record is 13m10cm by Kane Kosugi).
Makino Tomoaki, a soccer player is up first. He starts at 12m.
Former baseball player Takahiro Suzuki also gets 12m!
Sano is confident! It's all one and done tonight. Sano almost catches the ball! He's clear!
Nomura is up next. And he's through too!
Kensuke Nagai, another soccer player is up.
Up to 12m40cm.
Makino up first. Warning lamp is on. But he's got it!
Nomura THSOFEP and it works!
And Suzuki is through! And Sano finally catches the ball to intimidate the pros.
Makino is the first pro to THSOFEP. But it doesn't work! The super slow-mo shows him just missing.
Suzuki's goal is to at least beat a guy from Hanshin who did 12m50cm which he will do if he makes it here. He's got it! Or maybe not. Whoa. He JUST got it.
Sano and Nagai are through but Nomura is done.
It's down to the soccer guy, the baseball guy and the...spodan guy.
Still not as good as Kane.
Suzuki is first up. CMs.
Shingi time! Hard to say. But the super slo-mo doesn't lie. He's done!
Sano THSOFEP. Here he goes. YES! With time to spare! He puts the pressure on Nagai! That's a new Spodan record.
No pressure at all for Nagai who was barely into his dive by the time he reached the ball.
Sano up first. NO! He mistimed his dive it looks like.
Can Nagai keep it going?
Yes! Or not. Warning lamp. But he got it!
At the very least, Nagai is our winner!
But he's not done yet! He'll take a shot at the record of 13m60cm. That's a big jump though, so he THSOFEP.
CMs first though.
YES! He ties the "world" record of 13m60cm set by baseball player Norichika Aoki over eleven years ago!
Special Power Wall Challenge
Nomura vs Masato
Wow! Nomura overpowers Masato for the quick win!
Ryo Tateishi (Olympic swimming medalist) vs Kasuga
In a struggle, Kasuga beats Tateishi! It wasn't long but Kasuga had to work for it.
Sekiguchi vs Hideo Tokoro (MMA fighter)
So far the Spodan boys have taken it to the pro athletes. Can Mandy keep it up? CMs first though.
Back. And he does! Wow!
Nomura vs Kenya Yasuda (Water Polo/actor)
And...I guess that's it! That was sort of ending with a whimper instead of a bang. They had two record tyings but decided to end with a bunch of overmatched athletes.
Still, the Spodan boys showed that they can hang!
Storify version: https://storify.com/lostinube/sports-danshi-new-year-s-special#publicize