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Asashosakari last won the day on January 22

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About Asashosakari

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    Sumo is a very good thing.
  • Birthday 27/09/1980

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  1. Asashosakari

    Long Kachikoshi Streaks - Hatsu 2020

    Day 13 Today brought forth lots of new decisions and the field of LKS yusho contenders got reduced significantly. All in all it was possible to score 4 points today, and 4 different players managed to do so, while scores as low as just one point were also seen. A pair of Sadogatake rikishi clinched their kachikoshi today with Kotoshoho up in juryo and Kotosusumu in sandanme, and furthermore it was also done by high school rookie Suzuki. Conversely, the day saw the end of komusubi Abi's year-long KK streak. Only Kotosusumu's result was a minority expectation. The add-on squad, being entirely composed of toriteki, is nearly done as usual, with only one more rikishi still 3-3 at this time. Three others decided their fates: Collegiate dropout newcomer Ito will be joining the ballot for Haru basho, while Sadanogo and Yabugasaki have fallen short. The updated standings: Day 13: 10/13 Decisions, TB 12-16 Pos Player Pts TB 1 Rocks 10 13 2 Tenshinhan 9 14 3 Asashosakari 9 13 4 Athenayama 9 18 5 Holleshoryu 8 14 6 Profomisakari 8 13 6 ryafuji 8 15 8 Pandaazuma 8 12 9 Joaoiyama 8 18 10 Ryoshishokunin 7 14 11 Achiyama 7 13 11 Sakura 7 13 13 Jejima 7 16 14 Tsuchinoninjin 6 13 15 robnplunder 6 17 16 chishafuwaku 5 11 16 WAKATAKE 5 11 Pursuer Tenshinhan actually has the most promising tie-breaker selection, but he can no longer win or even tie as his remaining three predictions are identical to those made by leader Rocks. Athenayama can still tie for the lead, but would unfortunately lose all possible bracket comparisons to either Rocks or Asashosakari. So it's down to these two, and the deciding score will be provided by makushitan Daikisho: If he goes makekoshi in a few hours, the yusho will be Asashosakari's, while with a kachikoshi Rocks' lead will hold. The other two remaining rikishi are Kotonowaka, who was unanimously selected for kachikoshi and so his result won't affect anything, and Akua (currently 7-6) whose outcome will only decide whether or not Athenayama will be co-leading the final standings on points as well (needs a KK for that).
  2. Asashosakari

    Long Kachikoshi Streaks - Hatsu 2020

    Day 12 And back to KK news, this time for top Mongolian newcomer Roga. Only one unfortunate entrant decided to pick against that outcome, so it's another barrage of points for the standings. No off-ballot updates on this day for a change. Day 12: 6/13 Decisions, TB 8-19 Pos Player Pts TB 1 Profomisakari 6 13 1 Rocks 6 13 1 Sakura 6 13 1 Tenshinhan 6 14 5 Pandaazuma 6 12 5 ryafuji 6 15 7 Achiyama 5 13 7 Asashosakari 5 13 7 Holleshoryu 5 14 7 Ryoshishokunin 5 14 11 Athenayama 5 18 12 Tsuchinoninjin 4 13 13 chishafuwaku 4 11 13 Jejima 4 16 15 robnplunder 4 17 16 Joaoiyama 4 18 17 WAKATAKE 3 11
  3. Asashosakari

    Long Kachikoshi Streaks - Hatsu 2020

    Day 11 Ayakaze, not to be confused with Amakaze, has found himself newly makekoshi, ending his KK-streaking comeback from two missed tournaments. Again the great majority of players predicted this correctly. Another much-heralded newcomer on the backup squad decided his Hatsu basho fate, but for sandanme tsukedashi starter Shiraishi it's via MK, so no Haru ballot for him. We did get one new kachikoshi as well, courtesy of national university grad Shoji whose fifth straight KK will finally see him back for his second makushita appearance next basho, nearly two years after the first. Day 11: 5/13 Decisions, TB 7-19 Pos Player Pts TB 1 Profomisakari 5 13 1 Rocks 5 13 1 Sakura 5 13 4 Pandaazuma 5 12 4 Tenshinhan 5 14 6 ryafuji 5 15 7 Achiyama 4 13 7 Asashosakari 4 13 9 Holleshoryu 4 14 9 Ryoshishokunin 4 14 11 Athenayama 4 18 12 Tsuchinoninjin 3 13 13 chishafuwaku 3 11 13 WAKATAKE 3 11 15 Jejima 3 16 16 robnplunder 3 17 17 Joaoiyama 3 18
  4. Asashosakari

    Long Kachikoshi Streaks - Hatsu 2020

    The round-up of early results: Day 7 - First blood was drawn not on the ballot but in the backup squad, where Tochimitsuru sadly completed a minimum-time makekoshi at 0-4 to end his KK streak. Day 8 - Conversely, the earliest possible kachikoshi for Terunofuji in his return to sekitori status. As this was a unanimous prediction, it had no real impact on our game, though. The first off-ballot rikishi also secured his KK here, and so Hakuho's latest protegé Toma will be joining the game proper for March. Day 9 - Another long-suffering (ex-)sekitori reached KK, namely Amakaze in his first tournament back in makushita. Still a long way to go... I won't post a standings table as of this day yet - if you got it right, you were tied for first, if you got it wrong, tied for last. Day 10 - And now the results start(ed) coming in bunches. Two more scoring decisions, with Yutakayama achieving kachikoshi and Yamatoarashi falling to MK. These were both majority picks so a lot of entrants scored two points. The backup guys were also busy and produced two more KK for new top talents Tokisakae and Kitanowaka, but also a makekoshi for less heralded Kiyota. And in addition it became known that Denuma, who had had to withdraw with a 2-1 record after Day 6, was not going to return to action for Days 11/12 and so his makekoshi was also assured. Day 10: 4/13 Decisions, TB 6-21 Pos Player Pts TB 1 Profomisakari 4 13 1 Rocks 4 13 1 Sakura 4 13 1 Tenshinhan 4 14 5 Pandaazuma 4 12 5 ryafuji 4 15 7 Athenayama 4 18 8 Achiyama 3 13 8 Asashosakari 3 13 8 Holleshoryu 3 14 8 Ryoshishokunin 3 14 12 Jejima 3 16 13 robnplunder 3 17 14 Tsuchinoninjin 2 13 15 chishafuwaku 2 11 15 WAKATAKE 2 11 17 Joaoiyama 2 18
  5. Asashosakari

    Long Kachikoshi Streaks - Hatsu 2020

    (Now this is late...) Welcome to the 17 participants for this first LKS edition of 2020, including returning Joaoiyama who was last active two years ago! The selection stats: Player K'sho Abi K'waka Roga Teru Yamato Ama Suzuki Daiki K'susu Aya Yutaka Akua TB Cons robnplunder - + 8-7 + + + - + + + + + - - 17 1.73 Athenayama + - MK + + + - + + + + + + + 18 1.51 Profomisakari + + 8-7 + + + - + + + - - + + 13 1.23 Joaoiyama + - MK + + + + - + + + - + - 18 1.47 ryafuji - - MK + + + - + + + - - + - 15 1.30 chishafuwaku + + 8-7 + + + - - - - - - - - 11 1.59 Sakura + + 8-7 + + + - + - - - - + - 13 1.30 WAKATAKE - - MK + - + + - + - - - + + 11 2.00 Pandaazuma + - MK + + + - + - + - - + - 12 1.26 Ryoshishokunin + + 8-7 + + + - + + - - - - + 14 1.41 Jejima + + 8-7 + + + + + + + + + + + 16 1.69 Tenshinhan + - MK + + + - + + + - - + - 14 1.02 Holleshoryu + + 8-7 + + + + + + - + - + - 14 1.37 Tsuchinoninjin + + 8-7 + + + - - + - - - - - 13 1.41 Achiyama + - MK + + + - - - - - - + - 13 1.43 Rocks + - MK + + + - + + + + - + - 13 1.11 Asashosakari + - MK + + + - + + - + - - - 13 1.30 14:3 8:9 17:0 16:1 17:0 4:13 12:5 13:4 9:8 7:10 3:14 12:5 5:12 Results 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  6. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    The ex-sekitori through Day 12. new KK: Chiyonoumi, Fujiazuma, Chiyoarashi, Takaryu, Yoshiazuma new MK: Seiro, Sagatsukasa, Keitenkai, Tokushinho This is Seiro's lowest-ranked makekoshi since Kyushu 2011. (Again; last basho already was, too.) Record Rank Shikona Heya Age Out 1-5 Ms1e Kaisho Asakayama 24 1 6-0 Ms1w Wakamotoharu Arashio 26 1 4-2 Ms3w Chiyonoumi Kokonoe 27 2 3-3 Ms4e Akiseyama Kise 34 1 5-1 Ms4w Hakuyozan Takadagawa 24 4 kyujo Ms5w Ichiyamamoto Nishonoseki 26 1 3-3 Ms6e Chiyonokuni Kokonoe 29 4 3-3 Ms6w Asabenkei Takasago 30 10 4-2 Ms7w Fujiazuma Tamanoi 32 17 4-2 Ms8w Gokushindo Nishikido 23 7 0-3-3 Ms9e Gagamaru Kise 32 1 3-3 Ms10e Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 35 12 2-4 Ms11e Seiro Shikoroyama 31 2 5-1 Ms12e Chiyonoo Kokonoe 28 7 3-3 Ms12w Kitaharima Yamahibiki 33 14 2-4 Ms14w Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 38 35 4-2 Ms16e Kizenryu Kise 34 9 5-1 Ms18e Daiseido Kise 27 5 4-2 Ms18w Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 28 39 2-4 Ms19e Nionoumi Yamahibiki 33 39 2-4 Ms22e Keitenkai Onomatsu 29 44 2-4 Ms24w Kagamio Kagamiyama 31 22 2-4 Ms27w Tokushinho Kise 35 25 5-1 Ms32e Jokoryu Kise 31 6 5-1 Ms35w Ryuko Onoe 21 3 2-4 Ms37w Higonojo Kise 35 34 kyujo Ms48w Arawashi Minezaki 33 3 4-2 Ms55e Amakaze Oguruma 28 11 4-2 Sd5e Takaryu Kise 27 27 5-1 Sd13w Asahisho Tomozuna 30 16 3-3 Sd27e Masunoyama Chiganoura 29 29 kyujo Sd68w Hitenryu Tatsunami 35 50 2-4 Sd73w Dairaido Takadagawa 39 80 4-2 Sd77w Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 42 32 5-1 Sd92w Kaonishiki Azumazeki 41 50 6-0 Jd28e Ura Kise 27 12
  7. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Juryo yusho race through Day 12: 12-0 J13w Terunofuji 11-1 --- 10-2 --- 9-3 J5w Daishoho So, yeah, this is pretty much done after Terunofuji defeated Daishoho today. No Daiamami for him tomorrow after all - Daiamami's not even theoretically in the race anymore after his own loss to Nishikigi anyway - and instead the next zensho roadblock will be Kotonowaka now. If nothing else that's interesting as a matchup we might get to see a bunch more times in makuuchi in the near future. Lower division yusho races (Day 11 results with links to video, also as playlist): 6-0 Ms1w Wakamotoharu (Arashio) 5-1 Ms9w Kotodaigo (Sadogatake) 5-1 Ms35w Ryuko (Onoe) 6-0 Ms51w Kaito (Asakayama) 5-1 Sd2e Aozora (Kasugano) 6-0 Sd16e Yuma (Onomatsu) 6-0 Sd26e Sadanohana (Sakaigawa) 5-1 Sd73e Hikarifuji (Isegahama) 5-1 Sd74e Daishokaku (Oitekaze) 6-0 Sd82e Tatsukaze (Oguruma) 5-1 Jd7w Komanokuni (Shibatayama) 6-0 Jd28e Ura (Kise) 6-0 Jd49e Otsuji (Takadagawa) 5-1 Jd64e Harimanada (Onoe) 5-1 Jd82w Ishiazuma (Tamanoi) 6-0 Jd84w Kyokuyuko (Nakagawa) 5-1 Jk8e Ariake (Isenoumi) 6-0 Jk26e Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu) 6-0 Jk27e Mudoho (Otake) Very one-sided bouts to progress the yusho races in jonokuchi and jonidan, all of them arguably with the expected winners, while the higher two divisions provided a few more exciting matches to get us down to our final yusho contenders. Great turnaround victory by Wakamotoharu in the last one to maintain his shot at a second makushita yusho. There's no surprise in the Day 13 matchmaking this basho with the 10 remaining zensho rikishi paired up in order. Jonokuchi and makushita will thus have straight shoot-outs for their respective titles, and sandanme likely will as well, as it would be a major upset if Ura were to lose to Tatsukaze.
  8. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Day 12 (results, text-only results) 11-1 M4w Shodai, M17w Tokushoryu 10-2 Oe Takakeisho 9-3 M2e Hokutofuji, M9w Yutakayama, M11w Kagayaki Yutakayama and Kagayaki's yusho hopes have likely been ended by today's losses, for both the first defeat in five days. Strong challenge by Kagayaki for joint leading Tokushoryu, however, the latter finding himself back at the tawara but winning by emergency thrustdown for the second day running. Yutakayama for his part saw his thrusting largely be ineffective against veteran Tochiozan and found himself katasukashi'ed to the clay out of nowhere. Tokushoryu remains only a co-leader entering the final three days as Shodai also secured his 11th win. He too had to weather a thrusting storm by Aki but continued his stellar defensive form he's had all basho, eventually getting to Abi's side after which a quick push ended things. Only ozeki Takakeisho remains in pursuit at 10-2, but was yet another contender to win going backwards, in this case via a massive kotenage that sent charging Tochinoshin flying off the dohyo. The most convincing display of a contender was achieved by Hokutofuji who posted a fast and dominant pushout victory over fellow high maegashira Endo, but he too will find it difficult to play a role in the yusho race from two wins down. Meanwhile, Terutsuyoshi has exited the race altogether, having miscalculated his tachiai against Shimanoumi to find himself slapped down in short order. Depending on your point of view it's either just a coincidence or full of meaningful symbolism that new generation ozeki Takakeisho reached double-digit wins the same day that both Goeido and Takayasu fell to makekoshi at the hands of other new stars. Goeido gave it his best shot against Asanoyama, but it's clear that he just hasn't got it this basho - a bit of a whimper of an end to what has been a top 10 ozeki career at least in its duration, if somewhat frequently not in its results. Will he get 10 wins next basho? Will he even try? (Recent trends among demoted long-time ozeki probably point to "no" and "yes", respectively.) It is kind of sad that this development is being overshadowed by all the other recent chaos in the high ranks, at any rate. Takayasu became Enho's latest casualty, but it's difficult to even describe this as much of an upset unfortunately. Size differences notwithstanding it certainly looked as though it was the maegashira who was in control of their lengthy bout, not the recently demoted ozeki. As it's hard to see him rattle off a three-win streak from here, it's now very likely that Takayasu will be maegashira for the first time in nearly four years come March. And another lower sanyaku spot may be vacated as well as komusubi Abi finds himself in the same three-wins-needed predicament after dropping his third bout straight against leader Shodai to fall to 5-7. 1-3-8 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-7 10-2 Takakeisho O Goeido 4-8 (x) 7-5 Asanoyama S Takayasu 4-8 5-7 Abi K Daieisho 4-8 (x) 7-5 Endo M1 9-3 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 7-5 M3 7-5 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 11-1 M5 Enho 7-5 ... M8 Ryuden 8-4 M9 Yutakayama 9-3 M10 M11 Kagayaki 9-3 ... M17 Tokushoryu 11-1 Shodai's had a full sanyaku slate of opponents so there's not much more to do to ascertain his yusho mettle, but it's getting rather late to test Tokushoryu. Tomorrow it's still "only" Yutakayama who's in his way. Poor Kagayaki will get his second yusho leader in as many days, and Shodai will have to rate as the clear favourite for that (4-1 H2H, too). Takakeisho starts up his short run through his fellow high-rankers against Takayasu. So what's on tap for Day 14? I'd guess Shodai against Tokushoryu...surely it's generally better to keep two co-leaders apart until the final day, but with an ozeki giving chase, they pretty much have to involve him. And IMHO it would be better to scrap the relatively meaningless Takakeisho-Goeido matchup on the final day and put Tokushoryu against the ozeki there (should he have demonstrated its necessity by beating Shodai beforehand), rather than knocking Takakeisho-Asanoyama off the schedule on Day 14 to do it. Of course I'm kind of assuming that Takakeisho defeats Takayasu tomorrow... Ailing Tsurugisho managed to get a win today, and it was pretty much the same deal as his most recent one before that, on Day 7 against Ishiura: Try to smash the smaller guy with your superior firepower before he can do anything to exploit your lack of mobility. Not the worst of ideas when pretty much nothing else will work for you... Today's target was Kotoeko, whose 9th straight loss has all but assured that he'll be going back to juryo after a 7-basho top division stint. One-armed Chiyotairyu went for the other option against behemoth Aoiyama and won going backwards with some "whatever works" kotenage-tsukiotoshi combo. He should be safe from demotion with that, and I kind of wonder if he's going kyujo now, given that Kokonoe-beya has a reputation for not needlessly leaving guys out there with nothing to gain. The other rikishi who can celebrate today is debutant Kiribayama who overcame his highest-ranked opponent to date, M10 Sadanoumi, to continue a five-day streak of wins and clinch kachikoshi in the process. Can't say I saw that coming at 3-4! I do have a feeling he'll be a good candidate for a sophomore slump next time, but perhaps he'll secure a high enough promotion on this KK that he won't need to worry too much in March. And if a possible Goeido intai is cause for concern, the same is surely true of Kotoshogiku who finds himself 4-8 makekoshi after losing to Takanosho today. He's in a banzuke position where just one more win might be enough to survive even if the numbers strictly call for two, but things haven't looked good for him at all these last few days, and unfortunately tomorrow sees high-ranked Myogiryu (M1w 4-8) waiting for him, who was a tricky opponent for Giku even back when he was still ozeki (9-8 then, 2-4 since). No clinched promotion records in juryo yet, after top contender Daishoho became Terunofuji's latest victim. Two of the next-best candidates were matched up, with Nishikigi beating Daiamami decisively. Not only a big boost for Nishikigi's return-to-makuuchi hopes, but also his first kachikoshi in seven tournaments. Hard to believe how far he has fallen after going 8-7 in the maegashira-joi back in Kyushu 2018. Youngster Kotonowaka is the other upper-ranker to require only two more wins after today, having defeated Akua in straight-forward fashion. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (?) M4 (?) 1-7-4 Meisei M5 ... (o) 5-7 Chiyotairyu M11 (1) 4-8 Tsurugisho M12 (2) 4-8 Kotoshogiku M13 Kotoeko 2-10 (~) M14 Shimanoumi 5-7 (1) (2) 5-7 Azumaryu M15 Ikioi 5-7 (2) M16 Kaisei 6-6 (1) (o) 8-4 Kiribayama M17 J1 Chiyoshoma 5-7 (3) (2) 7-5 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 6-6 (3) (x) 4-8 Daishomaru J3 (2) 8-4 Nishikigi J4 Mitoryu 5-7 (x) (3) 7-5 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 9-3 (1) (3) 8-4 Daiamami J6 Tobizaru 7-5 (~) J7 J8 Kotoshoho 7-5 (x) (~) 8-4 Kyokushuho J9 Akua 7-5 (x) ... J13 Terunofuji 12-0 (2) And if worrying about Goeido and Kotoshogiku's near-term fates isn't enough, we've got Toyonoshima down in low juryo. Credit to Yago though, that slapdown was well-executed today. Toyonoshima is makekoshi now and will need to win two out of three to stay paid for March. Unlike his previous trip to makushita three years ago which was entirely caused by catastrophic injury, I'm not so sure he'll have it in himself to attempt another comeback from what just looks like steady decline this time around. Yago for his part has survived for another basho, but if he's unable to get his physical issues fixed sharpish he'll be in big trouble next time, based on what he's shown this month and back in Kyushu. Asagyokusei prevailed over Sokokurai and now has a good shot at retaining his juryo slot this time around, possibly even with a kachikoshi in the end. The veteran Chinese, on the other hand, remains with some work to do if he doesn't want to spend his (widely assumed anyway) final career tournament down in makushita, before he gets to succeed ex-Oyutaka as Arashio-oyakata at the end of March. Asagyokusei is joined in requiring one more win by Takagenji and Churanoumi who were also successful on Day 12, as well as Kizakiumi and Hoshoryu who could have saved themselves today but didn't. Sakigake has sadly fallen from 5-4 to 5-7 and appears to be headed straight back down to the unsalaried ranks again. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 J2 J3 Kizakiumi 1-11 (1) ... J7 Yago 4-8 (o) ... (2) 4-8 Sokokurai J10 Takagenji 5-7 (1) (2) 4-8 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-5 (x) (1) 6-6 Asagyokusei J12 Churanoumi 6-6 (1) (2) 5-7 Chiyootori J13 (1) 7-5 Hoshoryu J14 Sakigake 5-7 (3) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 6-0 (o) 4-2 Midorifuji Ms2 Ms3 Chiyonoumi 4-2 3-3 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 5-1 3-3 Naya Ms5 Unsurprisingly no makushita additions to the juryo schedule yet for Day 13. Midorifuji and Chiyonoumi should be featuring on the weekend, although other, lower-ranked 4-2's (Ms7w Fujiazuma and Ms8w Gokushindo) haven't been assigned yet either and could serve as their opponents instead. Something similar is true for Akiseyama and Naya who could make juryo appearances but also see a KK playoff against each other. Hakuyozan on the other hand appears to be getting a makushita opponent for sure, freshly deposed yusho contender Ms9w Kotodaigo.
  9. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Yes, it will be accurate tomorrow. But just in case I've corrected it anyway.
  10. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Day 11 (results, text-only results) 10-1 M4w Shodai, M17w Tokushoryu 9-2 Oe Takakeisho, M9w Yutakayama, M11w Kagayaki 8-3 M2e Hokutofuji, M14e Terutsuyoshi All green atop the hoshitori again, but with one name fewer than yesterday - Tochiozan lost rather decisively to pursuer Kagayaki and has now fallen out of the three-loss group. Terutsuyoshi and Hokutofuji (how did he win that?) did better against Takanosho and Tamawashi respectively and secured their kachikoshi records. Obviously they still have a shot at the yusho, but the fewer days there are to go the more it may become an issue that they need to chase down no less than five better-placed competitors. Is Daieisho the most exciting man in makuuchi today? Win or lose, his matches rarely disappoint, and today's slugfest against Shodai was no exception. Full credit to Shodai for weathering the storm until he was ultimately able to hit a quick pair of mighty one-handed shoves to first get Daieisho off himself and then out. Co-leader Tokushoryu was largely in control of fellow big man Aoiyama until the Bulgarian tried to rush a finish, but Tokushoryu countered expertly for a close win by thrustdown. The three pursuers for their part all won convincingly. Kagayaki defeated Tochiozan as mentioned, Yutakayama came through a spirited - but ultimately not very threatening - challenge by Shohozan, and ozeki Takakeisho swiftly disposed of recent high-ranker killer Takarafuji. The penultimate bout of the day featured a current ex-ozeki versus a likely future one in Takayasu - Goeido, in which the kadoban still-incumbent managed to avoid his makekoshi and demotion for now. With two maegashira as well as Asanoyama (tomorrow) and Takakeisho (presumably Day 15) still to come, a kachikoshi finish remains quite unlikely though. All four lower sanyaku were on the losing side on Day 11, with Takayasu and Daieisho joined in defeat by Asanoyama against Enho and Abi against Mitakeumi. With this fifth loss we're getting to the point where the discussion on Asanoyama is sadly completing the shift from "Can he become ozeki here?" to "Will he even be on a run next time?". (Maybe Shodai's now gonna be the next ozeki after all...) With Shodai, Hokutofuji, Mitakeumi and Endo (in the M1 battle with Myogiryu) all victorious it continues to look like we'll have an overabundance of candidates for the sekiwake and komusubi slots, with this quartet plus Asanoyama and potentially Goeido and Abi. 1-3-7 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-6 9-2 Takakeisho O Goeido 4-7 6-5 Asanoyama S Takayasu 4-7 5-6 Abi K Daieisho 3-8 (x) 7-4 Endo M1 Myogiryu 3-8 (x) 8-3 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 7-4 (x) 3-8 Tamawashi M3 7-4 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 10-1 M5 Enho 6-5 (x) 5-6 Takarafuji M6 Tochinoshin 5-6 (x) (x) 5-6 Shohozan M7 M8 Ryuden 7-4 M9 Yutakayama 9-2 (x) 6-5 Sadanoumi M10 M11 Kagayaki 9-2 ... M17 Tokushoryu 10-1 (Looks like tomorrow's table will be a lot more streamlined...) With both yokozuna kyujo it's Takakeisho who has inherited the standard quasi-top dog schedule, so after his final maegashira opponent in Tochinoshin tomorrow, he should be facing the two sekiwake and his fellow ozeki in ascending order. Goeido's rank survival will be at stake against Asanoyama, while Takayasu will need to avoid makekoshi against Enho. A leader vs pursuer matchup has been set for early in the day, when Tokushoryu meets Kagayaki; the other co-leader Shodai will be tested by komusubi Abi. The list of most endangered maegashira is down from three to two, after Shimanoumi continued his dominance of ex-ozeki Kotoshogiku by beating him for the fourth time in as many meetings. Kotoeko's losing streak reached day 8 at Chiyotairyu's hands (inasmuch as he's currently able to use them...), and Ikioi also remains in big trouble after today's defeat by Ishiura. Chiyomaru should be secure for Haru basho after vanquishing Sadanoumi, while Kaisei will have to wait at least one day longer, having lost to higher-ranked Onosho today. He's newly joined in almost-safety by Chiyotairyu as well as (surprisingly) rookie Kiribayama, who defeated Azumaryu to run his current winning streak to four. Juryo presented the usual mixed bag, with one big winner: Daishoho was victorious for the 7th day in a row and can just about get ready to celebrate an immediate return to the top division after last basho's 3-12 disaster that sent him down. It's just one more win required across the final four days for numerical credibility, and given the dearth of other contenders that would almost certainly be good enough in actuality, too. Winning trio Kotonowaka, Nishikigi and Daiamami comprise a set of at least halfway credible further contenders, all three essentially tied on their rank/record combinations right now, with yusho leader Terunofuji continuing to provide a wildcard. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (?) M4 (?) 1-7-3 Meisei M5 ... M10 (1) 4-7 Chiyotairyu M11 (2) 3-8 Tsurugisho M12 Chiyomaru 5-6 (o) (2) 4-7 Kotoshogiku M13 Kotoeko 2-9 (4) M14 Shimanoumi 4-7 (2) (2) 5-6 Azumaryu M15 Ikioi 4-7 (3) M16 Kaisei 6-5 (1) (1) 7-4 Kiribayama M17 J1 Chiyoshoma 4-7 (4) (3) 6-5 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 5-6 (4) (~) 4-7 Daishomaru J3 (3) 7-4 Nishikigi J4 Mitoryu 5-6 (~) (4) 6-5 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 9-2 (1) (3) 8-3 Daiamami J6 Tobizaru 6-5 (~) (x) 5-6 Ichinojo J7 J8 Kotoshoho 7-4 (~) (~) 7-4 Kyokushuho J9 Akua 7-4 (~) ... J13 Terunofuji 11-0 (3) I can't quite decide if it was good sumo by Yago or bad sumo by Chiyootori that I got to watch there, but the former managed to win for the first time in five days and is now significantly more likely to retain his sekitori ranking for March. The same can't be said for Chiyootori who remains co-frontrunner for demotion, now alongside only Sakigake who lost to a major henka by Kyokushuho. Two others have extricated themselves from the worst mess for the moment, as Sokokurai came through against Kizakiumi (who was on the offense for most of the bout...) and Churanoumi had a strong if a bit surprising win over upper-ranked Daishomaru. Hoshoryu won the low-ranker derby against Toyonoshima and looks very likely to collect his first sekitori kachikoshi now. Big day in high makushita today, and not only because so many of them were in action. The one head-to-head matchup saw veteran Akiseyama prevail over youngster Oki, so the latter will have to regroup outside the top 5 next time while Akiseyama can continue to dream of another lucky return to the paid ranks. The rest of the Day 11 results have made this quite the longshot, however, as every other top 5 promotion contender was also successful, and Akiseyama can no longer finish better than 5th in the promotion queue. The top spot has been claimed by Wakamotoharu, in any case, now 6-0 after beating Kotodaigo and in line to secure his second makushita championship exactly a year after the first. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 J2 J3 Kizakiumi 1-10 (1) ... J7 Yago 3-8 (1) ... (2) 4-7 Sokokurai J10 Takagenji 4-7 (2) (2) 4-7 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-4 (x) (2) 5-6 Asagyokusei J12 Churanoumi 5-6 (2) (3) 4-7 Chiyootori J13 (1) 7-4 Hoshoryu J14 Sakigake 5-6 (3) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 6-0 (o) 4-2 Midorifuji Ms2 (x) 2-4 Oki Ms3 Chiyonoumi 4-2 3-3 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 5-1 3-3 Naya Ms5 ... Ms9 Kotodaigo 5-1 (x) Suspenseful race for promotion slots 2 to 4 between Midorifuji, Chiyonoumi and Hakuyozan coming up. You'd have to think that at least the 4-2 pair will be making trips to juryo on the final weekend, while I'm not that sure about Hakuyozan yet. They're scrounged up another possible matchup between double-digit rankers, and tomorrow's winner of Sokokurai-Asagyokusei will be significantly more likely to retain his rank than the loser. Sakigake will be going against Tobizaru (J6w 6-5) and Chiyootori against Daishomaru (J3e 4-7), in what are almost must-win bouts already. Takagenji (four straight losses) is next to meet Kizakiumi, while Toyonoshima will face Yago. Juryo yusho race through Day 11: 11-0 J13w Terunofuji 10-1 --- 9-2 J5w Daishoho 8-3 J6e Daiamami Kotoshoho (now 7-4) was sent packing from the "race" by Daishoho, so it's now just the Oitekaze pair in pursuit of our runaway leader. Terunofuji and Daishoho will face off tomorrow, the last opportunity for somebody to re-inject something resembling suspense into this competition, as Terunofuji would certainly not be losing a three-win lead with three days to go. I kind of assume his Day 13 opponent will be Daiamami regardless of how tomorrow's result goes, so together the Dai duo could be eliminating the current two-win gap. Not that it's looking too likely... Tomorrow's opponent for Daiamami is fellow promotion contender Nishikigi, anyway.
  11. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Forgot about these yesterday so...the ex-sekitori through Day 10. new KK: Hakuyozan, Gokushindo, Chiyonoo, Kizenryu, Daiseido, Jokoryu, Amakaze, Asahisho, Kaonishiki new MK: Nionoumi, Kagamio, Higonojo, Dairaido Record Rank Shikona Heya Age Out 0-5 Ms1e Kaisho Asakayama 24 1 5-0 Ms1w Wakamotoharu Arashio 26 1 3-2 Ms3w Chiyonoumi Kokonoe 27 2 2-3 Ms4e Akiseyama Kise 34 1 4-1 Ms4w Hakuyozan Takadagawa 24 4 kyujo Ms5w Ichiyamamoto Nishonoseki 26 1 3-2 Ms6e Chiyonokuni Kokonoe 29 4 3-2 Ms6w Asabenkei Takasago 30 10 3-2 Ms7w Fujiazuma Tamanoi 32 17 4-1 Ms8w Gokushindo Nishikido 23 7 0-3-2 Ms9e Gagamaru Kise 32 1 2-3 Ms10e Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 35 12 2-3 Ms11e Seiro Shikoroyama 31 2 4-1 Ms12e Chiyonoo Kokonoe 28 7 3-2 Ms12w Kitaharima Yamahibiki 33 14 2-3 Ms14w Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 38 35 4-1 Ms16e Kizenryu Kise 34 9 4-1 Ms18e Daiseido Kise 27 5 3-2 Ms18w Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 28 39 1-4 Ms19e Nionoumi Yamahibiki 33 39 2-3 Ms22e Keitenkai Onomatsu 29 44 1-4 Ms24w Kagamio Kagamiyama 31 22 2-3 Ms27w Tokushinho Kise 35 25 4-1 Ms32e Jokoryu Kise 31 6 5-0 Ms35w Ryuko Onoe 21 3 1-4 Ms37w Higonojo Kise 35 34 kyujo Ms48w Arawashi Minezaki 33 3 4-1 Ms55e Amakaze Oguruma 28 11 3-2 Sd5e Takaryu Kise 27 27 4-1 Sd13w Asahisho Tomozuna 30 16 2-3 Sd27e Masunoyama Chiganoura 29 29 kyujo Sd68w Hitenryu Tatsunami 35 50 1-4 Sd73w Dairaido Takadagawa 39 80 3-2 Sd77w Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 42 32 4-1 Sd92w Kaonishiki Azumazeki 41 50 5-0 Jd28e Ura Kise 27 12
  12. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Day 10 (results, text-only results) 9-1 M4w Shodai, M17w Tokushoryu 8-2 Oe Takakeisho, M9w Yutakayama, M11w Kagayaki 7-3 M2e Hokutofuji, M14e Terutsuyoshi, M16e Tochiozan Both leaders and all three pursuers marched on (and as stated last tournament already: Kagayaki?!), so the race remains wide open as we move on to the closing stretch of the tournament. Shodai prevailed in the Sho-down once again, defeating Shohozan for the fourth straight time and in quite decisive fashion, and Tokushoryu unleashed a powerful shove to dispose of Chiyomaru having been put under serious pressure up to that point. The sole contender from sanyaku, ozeki Takakeisho, easily dealt with Enho meanwhile, although he clearly appeared to be mindful of any possible tachiai tricks. Day 10 sadly also got us a big step closer to having just one ozeki for Haru, after Goeido picked up his 7th loss against Takarafuji, who did another workmanlike job after defeating Takayasu yesterday, while (now ex-)promotion contender Asanoyama found former ozeki Tochinoshin too much to handle, somewhat unexpectedly. The only winning lower sanyaku of the day was Takayasu, though Abi nearly had him beat. Daieisho had a typically exciting slapfest with Hokutofuji, won by the maegashira with a surprise shift and drag on the komusubi's arm eventually. Following maegashira lead Endo's third straight loss, today against Mitakeumi, Hokutofuji is also your new second frontrunner for a sanyaku promotion next to yusho-leading Shodai. 1-3-6 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-5 8-2 Takakeisho O Goeido 3-7 6-4 Asanoyama S Takayasu 4-6 5-5 Abi K Daieisho 3-7 6-4 Endo M1 Myogiryu 3-7 7-3 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 6-4 3-7 Tamawashi M3 6-4 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 9-1 M5 Enho 5-5 5-5 Takarafuji M6 Tochinoshin 5-5 5-5 Shohozan M7 Onosho 4-6 (x) M8 Ryuden 6-4 M9 Yutakayama 8-2 6-4 Sadanoumi M10 M11 Kagayaki 8-2 ... M17 Tokushoryu 9-1 Day 11 brings the first mini-test for Tokushoryu - it's still only Aoiyama (M8e 4-6), but at least they're moving the co-leader up against single-digit opposition now. Shodai will meet his penultimate sanyaku opponent in Daieisho; only Abi remains after that. And in the musubi no ichiban, it's Takakeisho against Takarafuji...uh-oh! The head-to-head stands at 3-2 in the ozeki's favour, but with Takarafuji having won the last two meetings including the only one since Takakeisho earned the second-highest rank. Rough day at the office on the dohyo for the maegashira demotion candidates - just 4 wins for the 12 rikishi, and three of those came in direct matchups among them; only Ishiura was successful beating a non-endangered opponent in Ryuden. He should be safe now, as is Tochiozan after his defeat of Shimanoumi, for whom the air is getting rather thin after four straight losses. Kotoeko is riding an even bigger losing streak amounting to seven days now and can only afford one more loss after today's against Kagayaki. Ikioi remains our third main candidate for demotion even after today's success against Chiyotairyu - who was little more than a sitting duck, having been robbed of his pushing attack by yesterday's elbow damage. Tsurugisho continues to look not much better than that with his ailing leg, and was defeated by Kiribayama. With three wins in a row, the top division debutant is suddenly looking like he just might hang in. Over in juryo we're down to just one credible promotion contender with Daishoho who clinched his kachikoshi against Kotonowaka, and should only have two more wins to go. Kotonowaka thus remained stuck at four wins required for a promotable record, as did Daiamami, losing to Chiyoshoma. They have plenty of company at that in the upper ranks now, but who knows if any of these guys will actually produce a 4-1 finish to the basho. The second-best candidate for promotion might well be undefeated leader Terunofuji at this point. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (?) M4 (?) 1-7-2 Meisei M5 ... M10 Ishiura 4-6 (o) (2) 3-7 Chiyotairyu M11 (2) 3-7 Tsurugisho M12 Chiyomaru 4-6 (1) (2) 4-6 Kotoshogiku M13 Kotoeko 2-8 (4) M14 Shimanoumi 3-7 (3) (2) 5-5 Azumaryu M15 Ikioi 4-6 (3) (o) 7-3 Tochiozan M16 Kaisei 6-4 (1) (2) 6-4 Kiribayama M17 J1 Chiyoshoma 4-6 (4) (4) 5-5 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 5-5 (4) (5) 4-6 Daishomaru J3 (4) 6-4 Nishikigi J4 Mitoryu 4-6 (~) (4) 6-4 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 8-2 (2) (4) 7-3 Daiamami J6 Tobizaru 5-5 (~) (~) 5-5 Ichinojo J7 (x) 5-5 Kyokutaisei J8 Kotoshoho 7-3 (5) (~) 6-4 Kyokushuho J9 Akua 6-4 (~) ... J13 Terunofuji 10-0 (4) Kizakiumi keeps trying his best, but it's just not leading to victories this basho, and Day 10 against Wakatakakage was no exception. At least he's probably only going to face other strugglers from here on, so the last needed win should be coming eventually. I'm not so sure that will be true for Yago, who needs two, and looks nearly as rough as he did in last basho's 4-11 (which was a 1-11 at one stage). He didn't stand much of a chance against bottom-ranked Hoshoryu today. All in all the lower juryo ranks are now a mess of many rikishi needing to finish either 3-2 or 2-3 over the last few days, so it's pretty much anybody's guess who will survive and who won't. Decent enough day overall though, with Hoshoryu joined on the winning side by Asagyokusei, Churanoumi (first win in six days), and Chiyootori. Of course these all faced fellow demotion candidates in Takagenji, Sokokurai and Toyonoshima... Sakigake dropped to 5-5 against Akua and looks a little more dubious for kachikoshi now. Not much action down in makushita, just Akiseyama completing round 5 for the top 5'ers. He did so with a loss in a nice back-and-forth affair with Chiyonokuni, and at 2-3 his repromotion hopes are hanging on by a thread. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 J2 J3 Kizakiumi 1-9 (1) ... J7 Yago 2-8 (2) ... (3) 3-7 Sokokurai J10 Takagenji 4-6 (2) (2) 4-6 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-3 (x) (2) 5-5 Asagyokusei J12 Churanoumi 4-6 (3) (3) 4-6 Chiyootori J13 (2) 6-4 Hoshoryu J14 Sakigake 5-5 (3) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 5-0 3-2 Midorifuji Ms2 2-3 Oki Ms3 Chiyonoumi 3-2 2-3 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 4-1 2-3 Naya Ms5 ... Ms9 Kotodaigo 5-0 Irodori has not returned in time for Day 11, so he should be headed down now. With only a few days to go it's just a matter of finishing up the last few remaining low-ranker head-to-head matchups (tomorrow: Toyonoshima-Hoshoryu), the rest of their slates will have to come either against higher-ranked opposition or eventually against makushita guests. Or if they're lucky they'll get Yago (vs. Chiyootori tomorrow) or Kizakiumi (vs. Sokokurai)... All promotion contenders ranked Ms1w to Ms5e are in action tomorrow, but only with one direct meeting: Oki and Akiseyama will decide which one of them will get to challenge their final match with kachikoshi on the line and who will be MK and out of the race early. Wakamotoharu will secure his return to juryo, not to mention continue his yusho quest, if he is able to defeat Kotodaigo.
  13. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    (Ran out of time yesterday, so turning the format around today...) Juryo yusho race through Day 9: 9-0 J13w Terunofuji 8-1 --- 7-2 J5w Daishoho, J6e Daiamami 6-3 J8w Kotoshoho, J9e Kyokushuho Juryo yusho race through Day 10: 10-0 J13w Terunofuji 9-1 --- 8-2 J5w Daishoho 7-3 J6e Daiamami, J8w Kotoshoho It's looking increasingly unlikely that somebody will be able to put dirt on Terunofuji this basho - nobody's been able to match him physically, and while the two big boppers Ichinojo and Mitoryu might still be in his way, it's hard to see them as a major threat. Ichinojo is clearly still not at 100%, and Mitoryu just lacks the technical chops, I suspect. That probably leaves Oitekaze duo Daishoho and Daiamami as the biggest dangers, or maaaybe a trickster like Chiyoshoma. In any case, while he's not actually the main pursuer now, IMHO Daiamami has looked the best of the non-Terunofujis so far, outside of his puzzling Day 4 loss to Yago anyway. Meanwhile, Kotoshoho continues to be somewhat of a revelation, showing off a nice combination of power and speed that will probably see him in makuuchi before too long. Daishoho is his usual plodding self, but it's been working a lot better here than it did in his last two tournaments up in the top division. (Token yusho race comment:) But no, I can't see any of the three still catching up to the leader. Lower division yusho races (Day 9 results with links to video, also as playlist - no Day 10 matches, everybody was in action yesterday already): 5-0 Ms1w Wakamotoharu (Arashio) 5-0 Ms9w Kotodaigo (Sadogatake) 4-1 Ms21e Hatooka (Kise) 4-1 Ms29w Ichiki (Tamanoi) 5-0 Ms35w Ryuko (Onoe) 4-1 Ms43e Tochikamiyama (Kasugano) 5-0 Ms51w Kaito (Asakayama) 5-0 Sd2e Aozora (Kasugano) 4-1 Sd12e Toma (Miyagino) 5-0 Sd16e Yuma (Onomatsu) 4-1 Sd23e Katsunofuji (Sakaigawa) 5-0 Sd26e Sadanohana (Sakaigawa) 4-1 Sd48w Shuji (Kise) 4-1 Sd51w Shimomura (Sakaigawa) 4-1 Sd61e Sadanoryu (Sakaigawa) 5-0 Sd73e Hikarifuji (Isegahama) 5-0 Sd74e Daishokaku (Oitekaze) 5-0 Sd82e Tatsukaze (Oguruma) 4-1 Sd95w Araoyama (Onomatsu) 5-0 Jd7w Komanokuni (Shibatayama) 4-1 Jd11w Mukaida (Naruto) 4-1 Jd22e Taketsukasa (Irumagawa) 5-0 Jd28e Ura (Kise) 4-1 Jd40e Seito (Fujishima) 5-0 Jd49e Otsuji (Takadagawa) 4-1 Jd56e Kotoyamato (Sadogatake) 5-0 Jd64e Harimanada (Onoe) 4-1 Jd67w Tatsunoumi (Yamahibiki) 5-0 Jd82w Ishiazuma (Tamanoi) 5-0 Jd84w Kyokuyuko (Nakagawa) 4-1 Jd93w Mimori (Irumagawa) 4-1 Jd104w Chiyokozan (Kokonoe) 5-0 Jk8e Ariake (Isenoumi) 4-1 Jk8w Andozakura (Shikihide) 5-0 Jk26e Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu) 5-0 Jk27e Mudoho (Otake) Wakamotoharu's successful Day 8 visit to juryo ensured that we're (almost certainly) getting a standard 4-man bracket playing down to the yusho winner in makushita now. The top-ranker should be favoured in that, but not hugely so. High makushita regular Kotodaigo is obviously good enough to prove a stumbling block, and recent sekitori Ryuko also appears to be reasonably recovered from his injury that sent him down to the middle of the division. And even Kaito is generally more at home in the upper ranks, only finding himself down at Ms51 due to a disastrous 0-7 record two months ago. In other words, a very credible field for this yusho race. (I'd still have Wakamotoharu as my pick though.) No same-stable playoffs this basho; the biggest chance for that was courtesy of the abundance of four Sakaigawa rikishi in sandanme, but only one of them was left standing by the Day 9 results. There's no obvious favourite here in sandanme as none of the 6 contenders look particularly underranked; Aozora has of course been much higher, but he's 36, and high sandanme seems to be about his current level. Jonidan is likewise down to 6 zensho records, and obviously most eyes will be on Ura for the second time. He does have to contend with a couple of competitors who also don't belong down in jonidan, namely 29-year-old Komanokuni who was still elevatoring between makushita and sandanme two recent injuries ago, and 25-year-old Kyokuyuko who had just made his makushita debut 8 months back. Still, I'm expecting the victory for Ura this time. Jonokuchi's race of 3 currently unbeaten rikishi will presumably come down to teenage debutants Nihonyanagi and Mudoho. Mudoho has had a rather remarkable schedule for a zensho contender, as the numbers have worked out such that his only undefeated opponent so far was on the first day at 0-0; all other aite including tomorrow's had a 1-loss record at the time of their meeting.
  14. Asashosakari

    New recruits for Hatsu 2020

    Sanspo confirms the full order of the 10 participants. In addition, Takeoka's shusshin has been corrected to Tokyo-to, Sumida-ku 東京都墨田区 (was Niigata-ken, Itoigawa-shi 新潟県糸魚川市). Abema shusse video:
  15. Asashosakari

    Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2020

    Day 9 (results, text-only results) 8-1 M4w Shodai, M17w Tokushoryu 7-2 Oe Takakeisho, M9w Yutakayama, M11w Kagayaki 6-3 Se Asanoyama, M1e Endo, M2e Hokutofuji, M8w Ryuden, M14e Terutsuyoshi, M16e Tochiozan, M16w Kaisei The last thing I expected to be writing about this early in the basho is Takayasu missing out on his ozeki repromotion opportunity...but here we are. Even a highly favourable opponent in Takarafuji, whom Takayasu had beaten the last six times straight going back to late 2016, wasn't sufficient to keep him from picking up his 6th loss today, and it looks like we're now likely to see him altogether down in the maegashira ranks for the March tournament. Not great news for the ozeki rank elsewhere either, with kadoban ozeki Goeido also down at 3-6 having started off the basho with 3 straight losses. Normally I wouldn't be writing off the veteran even now, since the early exits by both yokozuna mean he's only got Takakeisho and Asanoyama remaining as "difficult" opponents (and Takayasu, if he counts), but Goeido really does look quite bad this basho, probably the worst in years. At least Takakeisho has been fulfilling the responsibilities of the rank so far, standing at 7-2. And lastly it doesn't seem as though any reinforcement will be coming at least this time, as Asanoyama finds himself just 6-3, unlikely to secure a promotion to ozeki from here unless he somehow still gets the yusho. (Maaaybe a 12-3 playoff loss would work as well, but I doubt such generosity by the committee for a first-time promotion challenger.) He's been doing good sumo for sure, but it goes to show that consistent double-digit wins and more just aren't a foregone conclusion for anyone right now. So, we might well be down to just 2 yokozuna and 1 ozeki for Haru, but chances are we'll still have - at least - 8 sanyaku rikishi, as bad scores in sanyaku typically mean good ones by high-ranked maegashira, and so there's no shortage of candidates who may be putting up very much promotable records when everything is said and done. Maegashira lead Endo and fellow recent komusubi Hokutofuji are both 6-3 and on course to secure an immediate return, while long-time sanyaku mainstay Mitakeumi has a bit more work left to do from 5-4 (and the worst position among the three). The frontrunner and surprise yusho co-leader is Shodai though, whose sumo appears more confident to me than ever before, including a convincing win over ozeki Takakeisho today. Might the ex-collegiate star finally be fulfilling the expectations people had for him when he turned pro? Joining Takayasu in negative territory is shin-komusubi Daieisho, who doesn't seem to fight much worse than in recent tournaments, but just hasn't been getting the same breaks. With Hokutofuji, Shodai and fellow komusubi Abi still to come it looks relatively unlikely that he'll still salvage a kachikoshi from here, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he did. Abi for his part appears to have had a rather quick recovery from the foot injury he suffered shortly before the basho, having looked hampered in his movements only for the first two or three days and pretty much back to normal since. Could well be another KK from 5-4, but with Goeido probably set to fall down from ozeki (unless he retires?), Abi might find the Sekiwake West slot blocked yet again... Last not least we have a really surprise yusho challenger in bottom-ranked Tokushoryu, who's arguably lucky to have got promoted this basho to begin with, but has looked like an absolute world-beater at least against his low maegashira opposition. The 33-year-old hasn't had more than 8 wins in makuuchi in five years and has spent the last two years almost entirely in juryo, so this is certainly coming out of the blue. Now that he's kachikoshi the next couple of torikumi should tell us how seriously they're taking him as an actual yusho threat; for tomorrow he's still getting another low-ranker opponent in Chiyomaru. 1-3-5 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-4 7-2 Takakeisho O Goeido 3-6 6-3 Asanoyama S Takayasu 3-6 5-4 Abi K Daieisho 3-6 6-3 Endo M1 Myogiryu 3-6 6-3 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 5-4 2-7 Tamawashi M3 5-4 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 8-1 M5 Enho 5-4 4-5 Takarafuji M6 Tochinoshin 4-5 5-4 Shohozan M7 Onosho 4-5 (x) 4-5 Aoiyama M8 Ryuden 6-3 (x) 4-5 Takanosho M9 Yutakayama 7-2 5-4 Sadanoumi M10 M11 Kagayaki 7-2 ... (x) 6-3 Terutsuyoshi M14 ... M17 Tokushoryu 8-1 Tokushoryu was also still nominally a demotion candidate until today, but that's of course no longer a concern for him now. The lowest-ranked five maegashira were all victorious on Day 9, with returned veterans Tochiozan and Kaisei not far off retaining their ranks now (although neither has looked exactly spectacular up to here). Fellow returnee Ikioi sadly appears rather broken down again following two relatively healthy tournaments in juryo, while newcomer Kiribayama has been finding himself somewhat outclassed against top division opposition, although I think most people were expecting that. Kotoeko and Shimanoumi are the other main candidates for demotion at this time, but Tsurugisho, who injured his knee back on Day 6, may also still fall into the danger zone based on how he has appeared on the dohyo the last couple of days. We may or may not have two demotable maegashira already in fully kyujo Kotoyuki and ailing Meisei, whose decision to enter with a pretty serious-looking arm injury did not go rewarded. Both should normally be safe from as high as they are on the rankings, but after the Tomokaze demotion last time I'm not going to stick my neck out and say it's for certain. The good news for them might be that the upper juryo ranks are significantly less crowded with strong promotion contenders this time. However, Day 9 at least proved quite favourable for them as a group - of the 17 rikishi listed yesterday, 12 were paired up into matches so that naturally led to 6 winners and 6 losers, but the remaining 5 candidates all managed to defeat their opponents for a very strong total score for the day. Still though, there's just one rikishi - Daishoho - who doesn't need to finish at least 4-2 to secure a promotable record by the numbers, so we're probably on course for a finish that will leave a lot of room for either lucky promotions or (more likely) lucky non-demotions. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (?) M4 (?) 1-7-1 Meisei M5 ... M10 Ishiura 3-6 (1) (2) 3-6 Chiyotairyu M11 (2) 3-6 Tsurugisho M12 Chiyomaru 4-5 (1) (2) 4-5 Kotoshogiku M13 Kotoeko 2-7 (4) M14 Shimanoumi 3-6 (3) (2) 5-4 Azumaryu M15 Ikioi 3-6 (4) (1) 6-3 Tochiozan M16 Kaisei 6-3 (1) (3) 5-4 Kiribayama M17 Tokushoryu 8-1 (o) J1 Chiyoshoma 3-6 (5) (4) 5-4 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 4-5 (5) (5) 4-5 Daishomaru J3 Kizakiumi 1-8 (x) (5) 5-4 Nishikigi J4 Mitoryu 3-6 (~) (5) 5-4 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 7-2 (3) (4) 7-2 Daiamami J6 Tobizaru 5-4 (6) (6) 5-4 Ichinojo J7 (~) 5-4 Kyokutaisei J8 Kotoshoho 6-3 (6) (6) 6-3 Kyokushuho J9 Akua 5-4 (~) ... J13 Terunofuji 9-0 (5) And another question-marked rikishi one section further down with injured Tomokaze, who was arguably unlucky to find himself demoted to juryo and will hopefully get treated with a bit more leniency this time around to slow down his descent while he's likely off the dohyo for several more months. We probably won't have a good handle on his likelihood of staying in juryo until the final weekend, possibly not even then. Probably headed down to makushita already is Irodori though, who came into the basho significantly hampered by an apparent leg injury and looked unlikely to make the grade even before he had to withdraw altogether a few days ago. He's not on the schedule for tomorrow and short of a return for Day 11 and five straight wins from there, he's gonna be makushita-bound. Bar berserking ex-ozeki Terunofuji, everyone in the double-digit juryo ranks is still in quite some demotion danger at this time, and I for one won't venture much of a guess as to who's likely to survive and who isn't. I will say that former komusubi Chiyootori has not looked great at all, further demonstrating why it took him so long to return to juryo in the first place. While Terunofuji looks destined to go much higher again, Chiyootori may rather be headed down the path set by fellow ex-sanyaku Jokoryu in recent times, even if he manages to hang on to his juryo spot this time in the end. The surprise package down here is almost certainly Sakigake, back in juryo after five years and with a decent shot to retain his salary from 5-4. Must be something about being 33 years old and holding down the last spot in a sekitori division this time... The other two returnees from makushita not mentioned yet, Asagyokusei and Churanoumi, have looked okay-ish (Asagyokusei actually quite good at least on some days), but have some more wins to collect to stay in the paid ranks as well. The primary candidate for promotion from makushita this time is Wakamotoharu, who already secured trips to juryo twice last year on records of 7-0 and 6-1 but failed to stick both times. Maybe third time's the charm... He's already certain to be at least the second-best rikishi in the eventual promotion queue, so while there's not officially space for him yet it should only be a matter of time. Fellow demotee Ms1e Kaisho, who was also 5-10 at J10 last basho, has had a significantly harder time and finds himself 0-5 after today, so it'll be a while before we will see him contending for a juryo slot again. In other makushita news of the day: 23-year-old youngster Oki, who is making his first top 5 appearance and had started off the basho with three straight losses, managed to avoid makekoshi for the second time and sent Shiba into it instead. Other head-to-head clashes among promotion zoners were won by Midorifuji against Naya in a matchup of prospects, as well as Hakuyozan against Chiyonoumi in one featuring two former sekitori. Akiseyama will complete the action up here tomorrow against Ms6e Chiyonokuni. A promotion wildcard currently still exists with lower-ranked Kotodaigo who finds himself 5-0. He's made four appearances in the top 5 ranks before, going MK in all of them, but perhaps he'll finally secure his juryo debut through the top 15 zensho backdoor. At the moment I'd expect that challenge to end at Wakamotoharu's hands on Day 11 though. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 J2 J3 Kizakiumi 1-8 (1) ... J7 Yago 2-7 (2) (o) 5-4 Kyokutaisei J8 J9 Akua 5-4 (o) (3) 3-6 Sokokurai J10 Takagenji 4-5 (2) (2) 4-5 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-2 (5) (3) 4-5 Asagyokusei J12 Churanoumi 3-6 (4) (4) 3-6 Chiyootori J13 (3) 5-4 Hoshoryu J14 Sakigake 5-4 (3) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 5-0 3-2 Midorifuji Ms2 Shiba 1-4 (x) 2-3 Oki Ms3 Chiyonoumi 3-2 2-2 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 4-1 2-3 Naya Ms5 ... Ms9 Kotodaigo 5-0 Explanation of symbols used: numbers = wins needed until favourable outcome (getting promoted / not getting demoted) o = favourable outcome achieved x = favourable outcome definitely missed ~ = favourable outcome missed "by the numbers", but still achievable through banzuke luck