Asashosakari

Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion November 2020

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(Let's see if I still know how to do this...)


Day 8 (results, text-only results)

8-0 O1e Takakeisho

7-1 Ke Terunofuji, M6e Takarafuji, M17e Shimanoumi

6-2 Se Mitakeumi, M10e Ryuden, M14e Chiyonokuni

It's a second consecutive tournament with zero yokozuna in attendance, and the ozeki squad didn't stay intact for long either with both Asanoyama and Shodai succumbing to injury by the middle of week one. Takakeisho has been shouldering the load for the high-rankers, and then some, looking completely in the "my brand of sumo" zone en route to his 8-0 record so far. Former ozeki Terunofuji, freshly returned to sanyaku after three years, follows along at 7-1 but he has arguably had to work harder for his wins and Daieisho outright found the right page in the playbook for how to deal with the big man today.

Either one of the two should be genki enough to avoid the spectre of a third maegashira yusho in 2020, not to take away anything from how good Shimanoumi and (especially) Takarafuji have looked. Sekiwake Mitakeumi obviously can't be counted out of the yusho race at 6-2 yet, but his performances continue to be as up-and-down as ever and I suspect more people would be surprised by a 13-2 than an 8-7 from here on out. It's all quiet on the ozeki promotion talk front anyway, of course, after Aki basho's lackluster 8-win record where he didn't even have to fight Takakeisho and Shodai due to late-basho schedule adjustments.

With the sanyaku ranks down to just five competing rikishi we're seeing a major dearth of possible high-ranker matchups, and that extends to the typical joi ranks on the maegashira side - M2w Daieisho is 5-3 and has already faced all sanyaku available bar komusubi Takayasu, Okinoumi one rank down with the same record is even done altogether already, and so is Hokutofuji at M4e and 4-4. Of course there's no guarantee that they won't stumble against lower-ranked opposition now, but it does appear quite likely that we're headed for a big banzuke crunch. Given the usual proclivities of the banzuke committee it's hard to say what any of them will have to do to "force" extra lower sanyaku slots to alleviate that crunch.

Although perhaps I'm getting ahead of things anyway, given that sanyaku incumbents Takanosho and Takayasu are only 4-4 and do still have some work left against their fellow high-rankers, three matches apiece to be exact (including the one against each other). Takayasu in particular might end up as a major beneficiary of the Asanoyama and Shodai withdrawals as his sumo hasn't exactly looked up to sanyaku standards.

(How much longer until the following table starts straight at the ozeki rank...?)

    kyujo Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     8-0  Takakeisho    O1   Asanoyama    1-2-5
    3-2-3 Shodai        O2   ---
     6-2  Mitakeumi     S    Takanosho     4-4
     7-1  Terunofuji    K    Takayasu      4-4

     1-7  Kiribayama    M1   Wakatakakage  2-6
     2-6  Onosho        M2   Daieisho      5-3
     3-5  Kagayaki      M3   Okinoumi      5-3
     4-4  Hokutofuji    M4   Tobizaru      2-6
     2-6  Myogiryu      M5   Kotoshoho     4-4
     7-1  Takarafuji    M6   Tamawashi     5-3
     5-3  Tochinoshin   M7   Endo          5-3
     3-5  Aoiyama       M8
     5-3  Tokushoryu    M9   Kotoeko       5-3
     6-2  Ryuden        M10
                        ...
     6-2  Chiyonokuni   M14
                        ...
     7-1  Shimanoumi    M17


__________________________________________________________________

There's no shortage of underperforming low maegashira who may be accompanying absent Kotoyuki to juryo after the basho. Enho leads the way by the numbers with his winless record, but sluggish Ichinojo isn't far behind. Top division rookie Akua also needs to win more than he loses during the final week, but in his case it already has to count as a success that he's in a position to maybe avoid the immediate return to juryo at all. It'll be quite an uphill battle though, given that he has arguably seen most of the easier opponents already.

Sadanoumi is another rikishi who is clearly not in good shape, but one could have said that about him during all of 2020, and so far he has always managed to pull his record back into safe territory by senshuraku; we'll see how it goes this time. Aging Kaisei, enigmatic Yutakayama (how is he only 2-6?!) and makuuchi returnee Chiyoshoma round out the field of major demotion candidates as things stand after Day 8.

Of course, given the state of upper juryo we might be seeing a whole bunch of lucky maegashira here in a week. Undersized youngster Midorifuji is the arguable leader of the promotion queue, followed by top-ranked Akiseyama (!) - both require the same 3 more wins by the numbers, but Akiseyama can't get there with less than that. I'm rooting hard for the big lug here, if only because his previous top division appearance was such an ultra-fluke, having come off a J5w 8-7 promotion, and it would be nice to see him do it the "proper" way at least once as well.

The best-performing juryo rikishi might well have been Azumaryu to this point, but he's saddled with his relatively low ranking of J7w and he'll need to keep his winning going to have a shot at makuuchi. Good return from his involuntary Covid-19 timeout in September, in any case. Ishiura and Chiyomaru complete the set of semi-reasonable candidates for promotion, though neither has looked all that convincing.

                        M8   Terutsuyoshi  2-6  (2)
                        M9
                        M10  Meisei        4-4  (1)
(3)  2-6  Sadanoumi     M11  Enho          0-8  (5)
(3)  2-6  Yutakayama    M12  Kaisei        3-5  (3)
(1)  5-3  Hoshoryu      M13  Ichinojo      2-6  (4)
                        M14  Kotonowaka    4-4  (3)
(2)  5-3  Chiyotairyu   M15  Kotoyuki     kyujo (x)
(3)  4-4  Chiyoshoma    M16  Akua          4-4  (4)
(1)  7-1  Shimanoumi    M17  ---

(3)  5-3  Akiseyama     J1   Chiyonoo      2-6  (6)
(3)  6-2  Midorifuji    J2   Shohozan      1-7  (~)
(4)  5-3  Ishiura       J3
(5)  5-3  Chiyomaru     J4   Nishikigi     4-4  (6)
(6)  4-4  Daiamami      J5   Hidenoumi     4-4  (6)
(7)  4-4  Churanoumi    J6   Wakamotoharu  3-5  (~)
(7)  4-4  Chiyootori    J7   Azumaryu      6-2  (5)
(~)  4-4  Kyokutaisei   J8
(~)  4-4  Tsurugisho    J9
(~)  5-3  Hakuyozan     J10  Kyokushuho    5-3  (~)
(~)  5-3  Mitoryu       J11
                        J12  Jokoryu       6-2  (~)

__________________________________________________________________

The list of candidates for demotion to makushita is simultaneously very extensive and very limited. The table to follow includes no less than 17 names right now, but is really much shorter than that on both ends:

3 of them are already certain to go - former ozeki Kotoshogiku has sadly had to call it quits after his 1-5 start left no doubt that he's not getting back to makuuchi anytime soon or ever, Abi continues to sit out his 3-basho suspension, and poor Fujiazuma hasn't done nearly as well as stablemate Azumaryu and finds himself winless at the bottom rank for a certain demotion.

Of the remaining 14 rikishi, 8 are highly unlikely to remain in demotion troubles for much longer as they only require one more win for numerical safety. Another 4 only need two wins, also quite doable with 7 days to go, which leaves us only with Ikioi and Nishikifuji. Ikioi looked good for the first two days but his movements on the dohyo have been rather uncontrolled since then, so his leg problems have likely flared up again, and Nishikifuji is currently riding a 6-day losing streak where he hasn't fought quite that badly, but probably not good enough that he can be expected to turn it around before makushita beckons.

So all in all that's 3 definite plus 1 very likely plus 1 possible promotion slots for the makushita-joi to gun for, and first blood was drawn by much-hyped Naya yesterday when he obtained his early 4-0 kachikoshi. He's not quite there yet as he could still drop to as low as 5th in the promotion queue, but it's a near-certainty that he'll finally be reaching the paid ranks. Quite a winding road it's been since he first reached the single-digit ranks in his 10th career basho back in July last year; I don't think many people would have expected him to need another 8 tournaments from there.

The competition for the other available spots is wide open as it usually is at this early time in the basho, and there's no shortage of potentially interesting stories here particularly among the would-be sekitori debutants, but let's give them a few more days to develop. Former four-time juryo denizen Chiyoarashi is back in the makushita-joi for the first time since 2015, while Bushozan is making his debut up there; both are 2-2.

                        J2   Shohozan      1-7  (1)
                        J3   Kotoshogiku   1-6i (x)
                        ...
                        J6   Wakamotoharu  3-5  (1)
                        J7
(1)  4-4  Kyokutaisei   J8   Ikioi         2-6  (3)
(1)  4-4  Tsurugisho    J9   Daishomaru    3-5  (2)
(1)  5-3  Hakuyozan     J10  Kyokushuho    5-3  (1)
(1)  5-3  Mitoryu       J11  Abi          susp. (x)
(2)  5-3  Takagenji     J12  Jokoryu       6-2  (1)
(2)  5-3  Ura           J13  Nishikifuji   1-7  (6)
(x)  0-8  Fujiazuma     J14  Chiyonoumi    6-2  (2)

     1-3  Daishoho      Ms1  Naya          4-0
     3-2  Yago          Ms2  Shiraishi     3-1
     3-1  Kitaharima    Ms3  Kotodaigo    0-2-2 (x)
     2-2  Bushozan      Ms4  Terasawa      1-3
     2-2  Chiyoarashi   Ms5  Kotokuzan     2-2
                        ...
                        Ms12 Roga          4-0
                        ...
                        Ms15 Ryuko         4-0

Having three 4-0 rikishi in the promotion zone is rather unusual and last happened back in Haru 2016, but of course it ultimately won't matter since it just means we might have to wait for Day 11 to be down to one of them rather than Day 9.

One of Daishoho and Terasawa will be departing the race tomorrow as they're meeting head-to-head.

__________________________________________________________________

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


Late edit to include Kotonowaka.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Juryo yusho race through Day 8:

6-2 J2e Midorifuji, J7w Azumaryu, J12w Jokoryu, J14w Chiyonoumi

5-3 J1e Akiseyama, J3e Ishiura, J4e Chiyomaru, J10e Hakuyozan, J10w Kyokushuho, J11e Mitoryu, J12e Takagenji, J13e Ura

4-4 J4w Nishikigi, J5e Daiamami, J5w Hidenoumi, J6e Churanoumi, J7e Chiyootori,J8e Kyokutaisei, J9e Tsurugisho

After seeing that none of yesterday's six 5-2 leaders were paired up for nakabi I was somewhat afraid we'd be starting off the tracking with a 12-rikishi lead group or something here. Fortunately the majority of them did come through today so it's just four frontrunners after all. All of them have looked pretty decent, to boot, so the eventual yusho winner may well be coming from among them.

I do hope we can move on quickly from having 19 rikishi in "contention"...
 

Lower division yusho races (Day 7-8 results):

4-0 Ms1w Naya (Otake)
4-0 Ms12w Roga (Futagoyama)
4-0 Ms15w Ryuko (Onoe)
4-0 Ms23e Yuma (Onomatsu)
4-0 Ms35w Ito (Shikoroyama)
4-0 Ms41w Ryusei (Kagamiyama)
4-0 Ms53w Obayama (Tokitsukaze)
4-0 Ms60w Kainoshima (Fujishima)

4-0 Sd12e Kaizen (Asakayama)
4-0 Sd21e Hokuseiho (Miyagino)
4-0 Sd27e Kotokume (Sadogatake)
4-0 Sd30w Denuma (Futagoyama)
4-0 Sd40e Kaiseijo (Asakayama)
4-0 Sd50e Wakakinsho (Nishonoseki)
4-0 Sd58w Komanokuni (Shibatayama)
4-0 Sd64w Hikarifuji (Isegahama)
4-0 Sd72w Taiyo (Onoe)
4-0 Sd85w Kotonoumi (Sadogatake)
4-0 Sd93w Takeoka (Oguruma)
4-0 Sd98e Imafuku (Nishonoseki)

4-0 Jd6w Ofukasawa (Naruto)
4-0 Jd8w Hagiwara (Naruto)
4-0 Jd25e Sakabayashi (Onoe)
4-0 Jd40e Yuriki (Chiganoura)
4-0 Jd43e Kotokonno (Sadogatake)
4-0 Jd55w Osuzuki (Naruto)
4-0 Jd60w Shimoyama (Tokitsukaze)
4-0 Jd71w Daishohama (Oitekaze)
4-0 Jd78w Akitoba (Minato)
4-0 Jd82e Ieshima (Yamahibiki)
4-0 Jd98w Kenho (Tokitsukaze)
4-0 Jd105e Shoryudo (Shikihide)

4-0 Jk2w Wakakaneko (Nishiiwa)
4-0 Jk9w Etsunohana (Tatsunami)
4-0 Jk23w Kaitoma (Asakayama)
4-0 Jk29e Nogami (Oguruma)

As perfect a distribution of contending rikishi as one can expect, with multiples of 4 in every division, so we should be down to 2 / 3 / 3 / 1 leaders after another two straight-forward rounds of matchups.

Hokkaido-bred but Mongolian-heritage rookie giant Hokuseiho continues to be undefeated in his career, now through 18 official matches, and it's hard to bet against a third consecutive yusho for him.

No obvious single favourite is jumping out at me for makushita and jonidan, and especially the latter looks unusually stacked with candidates for a November tournament - partly owed to the cancellation of May, of course, which means many 2020 newcomers are ranked lower than they usually would be at this point in the year. Jonokuchi sees the return of upper makushita regular Nogami after one year out of action, and he should be the man to beat down there.

 

Edited by Asashosakari
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2 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Sekiwake Mitakeumi obviously can't be counted out of the yusho race at 6-2 yet, but his performances continue to be as up-and-down as ever and I suspect more people would be surprised by a 13-2 than an 8-7 from here on out.

Strange how rank changes our perceptions.  If you take Goeido's first 12 basho after promotion to Ozeki, he went 93-86-1 for 52% win ratio [yes, he did zen-yusho the next basho; I'll explain].  Now take Mitakeumi's 12 basho after his first yusho, which includes Aki 2020: 103-74-3 for a 57% ratio, including another yusho.  I'm not saying Mitakeumi should have been made Ozeki (not with 29 wins and a 7-8 basho!), but he's been doing pedestrian Ozeki sumo since then (with a yusho and an exciting Ozekiwake 10-win basho!).  As we all know, he just hasn't strung together three great basho.

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1 hour ago, Yamanashi said:

  I'm not saying Mitakeumi should have been made Ozeki (not with 29 wins and a 7-8 basho!), but he's been doing pedestrian Ozeki sumo since then (with a yusho and an exciting Ozekiwake 10-win basho!).

T'is a shame that some pedestrian walked in and forced them to add days 8 thru 15 to the bashos.  (Scratchingchin...)

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2 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

As we all know, he just hasn't strung together three great basho.

Goeido never did either.  He just was close enough.

I think if Mitakeumi wins the rest of his matches he'll get promoted even if he loses the Yusho to a 14-1 Takakeisho or in a playoff, but that will be quite a tall order given his history.  Nevertheless, did anyone really expect Shodai to win his last 8 matches last tournament?  Ozeki promotions have come unexpectedly quite often: Goeido, Terunofuji, and Shodai were not exactly considered likely to be promoted at the beginning of the tournament after which they were.  (Yes, it was expected for Takayasu, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama, and Takakeisho.  But the point is it's not always the case.)

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1 hour ago, Gurowake said:
4 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

As we all know, he just hasn't strung together three great basho.

Goeido never did either.  He just was close enough.

I think if Mitakeumi wins the rest of his matches he'll get promoted even if he loses the Yusho to a 14-1 Takakeisho or in a playoff, but that will be quite a tall order given his history.  Nevertheless, did anyone really expect Shodai to win his last 8 matches last tournament?  Ozeki promotions have come unexpectedly quite often: Goeido, Terunofuji, and Shodai were not exactly considered likely to be promoted at the beginning of the tournament after which they were.  (Yes, it was expected for Takayasu, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama, and Takakeisho.  But the point is it's not always the case.)

Considering Goeido wasn't exactly promoted to ozeki via the usual route of impressive performances, but more on the merits of his long sanyaku career, he's both an apt and a bad comparison for Mitakeumi. Apt, because if Mitakeumi gets there it'll be via that route of long serving sanyaku. Bad, because Goeido is arguably one of the underperforming ozeki of recent times ; someone who blows hot and cold enough to win yusho and stay in sanyaku despite very questionable fades shouldn't have any issue beating his record.

Besides, promotion to ozeki doesn't depend on "doing sumo that other ozeki do", it's more whether you can be a consistent foil to the yokozuna as evidenced by your record. Mitakeumi has just simply failed to deliver on that front of consistent good basho, but if he stays in sanyaku till this time next year with marginally better results I wouldn't be surprised if they Goeidoed him. 

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1 hour ago, Gurowake said:

think if Mitakeumi wins the rest of his matches he'll get promoted even if he loses the Yusho to a 14-1 Takakeisho or in a playoff, but that will be quite a tall order given his history

That would indeed be Goeidoesque.  He had runs of 31 wins and a yusho (2018 5-7-9) and 30 wins with a yusho (2019 5-7-9); this would give him 32 with a Shukun-sho and a 13-2 J, I guess.

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6 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Besides, promotion to ozeki doesn't depend on "doing sumo that other ozeki do", it's more whether you can be a consistent foil to the yokozuna as evidenced by your record. Mitakeumi has just simply failed to deliver on that front of consistent good basho, but if he stays in sanyaku till this time next year with marginally better results I wouldn't be surprised if they Goeidoed him

By which time we may not have any Yokozuna.

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1 hour ago, lackmaker said:

By which time we may not have any Yokozuna.

Which may or may not make any difference to Mitakeumi's promotion chances.

On the one hand, if there's no yokozuna then and at least Terunofuji or Takayasu reascends to ozeki, we've got 4 or 5 ozeki misfiring to put together a run and the NSK may decide to just increase their chances with more ozeki.

On the other hand, there's 4-5 ozeki and that gives them no incentive to loosen the criteria. Besides, if he can't even put an ozeki run together, there's no way he's putting together a yokozuna run even if the NSK promotes him on the merits of his longstanding sanyaku status. Consistency has always been his biggest enemy, not other named ranks on the banzuke; he is capable of beating every other sanyaku regular on a decent day.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Mitakeumi will self-sabotage himself out of ozeki runs, no yokozuna or five yokozuna notwithstanding. The quality of the people around him does not make a huge difference in his results, because he's got that same quality - he just doesn't show it regularly enough as Yamanashi said.

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't really want to become an ozeki himself - he seems like a chill lad who'd rather not have the exposure nor the responsibility.

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3 hours ago, Koorifuu said:

Mitakeumi will self-sabotage himself out of ozeki runs, no yokozuna or five yokozuna notwithstanding. The quality of the people around him does not make a huge difference in his results, because he's got that same quality - he just doesn't show it regularly enough as Yamanashi said.

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't really want to become an ozeki himself - he seems like a chill lad who'd rather not have the exposure nor the responsibility.

You aren't the first to say that.  To me he is a guy who puts out good personal vibes, and he has tremendous upside -- see his unbelievable Hatsu 2019 basho.

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4 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

You aren't the first to say that.  To me he is a guy who puts out good personal vibes, and he has tremendous upside -- see his unbelievable Hatsu 2019 basho.

I remember that one very well.

Also might've phrased my previous comment poorly, but I did really mean to say that he was at least as good as his peers above him in the ranks. Except prime Hakuho, of course.

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Day 9 (results, text-only results)

8-1 O1e Takakeisho, M6e Takarafuji, M17e Shimanoumi

7-2 Ke Terunofuji, M10e Ryuden, M14e Chiyonokuni

6-3 Se Mitakeumi, M2w Daieisho, M6w Tamawashi, M7w Endo, M15e Chiyotairyu 

Well, that escalated quickly. He's often enough Too Bizarro, especially in how his matches end, but there was nothing bizarre about Tobizaru's ginboshi over erstwhile frontrunner Takakeisho today - just smart, well-executed sumo. The ozeki can count himself lucky that his (presumed) biggest competitor for the yusho honours, Terunofuji, was also unsuccessful, losing to fellow komusubi Takayasu who was in a very spirited mood today.

Takayasu ended up being the only victorious sanyaku rikishi on the day. Shin-sekiwake Takanosho was defeated by Kotoshoho's superior mobility, and veteran Mitakeumi first double-matta'ed against Myogiryu and then appeared to have had no plan whatsoever when they finally got off the mark. Ozeki, shmozeki.

So, we're suddenly looking at an extended yusho race of more than 10 rikishi after the title-rankers collectively invited a whole bunch of maegashira to gate-crash the party again. The most impressive-looking win among them was probably Chiyotairyu's quick blast through poor Sadanoumi, with Tamawashi against Kotoeko and Daieisho against Wakatakakage not far off from duplicating that, but considering opponent quality my vote has to go to Takarafuji's unfazed tsukiotoshi to end Okinoumi's onslaught.

Daieisho arguably has the easiest road ahead of all the maegashira contenders given that he's nearly done facing sanyaku, and at the very least he's looking to be in a great position to secure a return to sanyaku after last basho's 5-10 disappointment. The good/bad news for Takarafuji is that he's in line to meet a lot of sanyaku opposition due to all the Y/O withdrawals anyway; there are worse tournaments to have that fate than one where you're firing on all cylinders. It remains to be seen how soon they're starting to mix in the lower maegashira, either against higher maegashira contenders or even the sanyaku. For tomorrow there's nothing of that yet - we do have two head-to-head meetings among the lead group with Tamawashi-Ryuden and Chiyonokuni-Shimanoumi, but both pairings are still very close in rank and likely would have happened at some point anyway.

    kyujo Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     8-1  Takakeisho    O1   Asanoyama    1-2-6
    3-2-4 Shodai        O2   ---
     6-3  Mitakeumi     S    Takanosho     4-5
     7-2  Terunofuji    K    Takayasu      5-4

(x)  1-8  Kiribayama    M1   Wakatakakage  2-7
     3-6  Onosho        M2   Daieisho      6-3
     3-6  Kagayaki      M3   Okinoumi      5-4
     5-4  Hokutofuji    M4   Tobizaru      3-6
     3-6  Myogiryu      M5   Kotoshoho     5-4
     8-1  Takarafuji    M6   Tamawashi     6-3
     5-4  Tochinoshin   M7   Endo          6-3
(x)  3-6  Aoiyama       M8
     5-4  Tokushoryu    M9   Kotoeko       5-4
     7-2  Ryuden        M10
                        ...
     7-2  Chiyonokuni   M14
                        ...
     8-1  Shimanoumi    M17

________________________________________________________________________

Especially large opponents were in the way of our three most endangered maegashira today, and while Ichinojo seemed to run out of steam against Kaisei in a lengthy battle, the other two were more successful: Akua prevailed over visiting Akiseyama in a match that could have only looked more Akiseyama-ish if it had gone on longer, and Enho took a quick pick of Aoiyama's right leg to spin him 'round and march him out.

Among the rikishi who entered Day 9 needing 3 wins, Kaisei was only joined as a winner by Chiyoshoma who henka'ed his way to the shiroboshi against Terutsuyoshi. (Edit: And by Kotonowaka, whom I'd somehow missed altogether yesterday.) Sadanoumi found himself rushed off the dohyo by Chiyotairyu as mentioned, and Yutakayama posted another utterly puzzling loss, this time to yusho co-leader Shimanoumi.

The juryo side of the promotion race looks...arguably worse than it did yesterday. Midorifuji cemented himself as the top contender, beating Nishikigi quickly in a do-over after their initial match was too close to call, but that didn't really tell us anything we weren't expecting already anyway. He needs one more win for a likely top division debut and two to make sure of it. On the other hand, losses by the #2 and #3 candidates Akiseyama and Ishiura (against Churanoumi) have made further successful promotion challenges quite a bit harder, and several wins by outside contenders weren't really enough to brighten the overall picture.

                        M8   Terutsuyoshi  2-7  (2)
                        M9
                        M10  Meisei        4-5  (1)
(3)  2-7  Sadanoumi     M11  Enho          1-8  (4)
(3)  2-7  Yutakayama    M12  Kaisei        4-5  (2)
(1)  5-4  Hoshoryu      M13  Ichinojo      2-7  (4)
                        M14  Kotonowaka    5-4  (2)
(1)  6-3  Chiyotairyu   M15  Kotoyuki     kyujo (x)
(2)  5-4  Chiyoshoma    M16  Akua          5-4  (3)
(o)  8-1  Shimanoumi    M17  ---

(3)  5-4  Akiseyama     J1   Chiyonoo      2-7  (6)
(2)  7-2  Midorifuji    J2   Shohozan      1-8  (x)
(4)  5-4  Ishiura       J3
(4)  6-3  Chiyomaru     J4   Nishikigi     4-5  (6)
(5)  5-4  Daiamami      J5   Hidenoumi     5-4  (5)
(6)  5-4  Churanoumi    J6   Wakamotoharu  3-6  (x)
(6)  5-4  Chiyootori    J7   Azumaryu      6-3  (5)
(~)  5-4  Kyokutaisei   J8
(x)  4-5  Tsurugisho    J9
(~)  6-3  Hakuyozan     J10  Kyokushuho    6-3  (~)
(x)  5-4  Mitoryu       J11
                        J12  Jokoryu       7-2  (~)

________________________________________________________________________

The cleanout of not-quite-candidates for demotion to makushita has begun, with the first four rikishi clearing their names today: Kyokutaisei, Hakuyozan, Kyokushuho and yusho-contending Jokoryu will all get to join us as sekitori again for the new year. Kyokutaisei was fortunate enough to run into his favourite victim Mitoryu, their career H2H now 8-0 in his favour, while Kyokushuho cruelly henka'ed struggling Nishikifuji to makekoshi and just one more loss away from a return to the unpaid ranks.

The four-strong crowd of juryo rikishi in need of 2 wins nearly ran the table, with only bottom-ranked Chiyonoumi not winning today; Daishomaru, Takagenji and Ura all moved to within one win of safety.

Shohozan is makekoshi after today, and while he should be getting saved by his high ranking position even if his performances don't turn around, his matches sure have that typical pre-intai "tries everything he can think of, but nothing works anymore" look to them. Sad to see, considering he was still quite effective as little as 10 months ago, but he has just completely fallen apart after the January tournament, with a combined record of 15-39 since then. Fujiazuma, meanwhile, continues to be in danger of duplicating Oki's dubious 0-15 feat from two months ago, today losing to Takagenji. His sumo did at least look better than it did for most of the first week, so there's hope yet.

Down in makushita the makekoshi avoidance playoff was won by Terasawa against Daishoho, with a truly weird ending that saw both competitors step out of the ring near-simultaneously, but in very different directions. Terasawa ended up getting the nod for keeping one foot in ever so slightly longer. Naya lost to Roga and is out of the yusho race, but his promotion hopes look no worse than they did yesterday since his closest pursuers Shiraishi and Kitaharima weren't successful either. Very entertaining slapfest between Kitaharima and Tochimaru, though! Shiraishi's loss came up in a juryo visit against Ura, who didn't have much trouble with the collegiate hope.

The sole other matchup within the top 5 ranks besides Terasawa-Daishoho saw youngster Bushozan victorious over veteran Chiyoarashi. The latter now finds himself behind everybody else in the promotion race, and his priority will have to be securing kachikoshi for another go in January.

We still have two undefeated rikishi in the extended promotion zone as Ryuko dismantled today's opponent Yuma with ease, so Day 11 will have to tell us which one of him and Roga will get to challenge for a surprise low-rank promotion in his final match on Day 13.

                        J2   Shohozan      1-8  (1)
                        J3   Kotoshogiku   1-6i (x)
                        ...
                        J6   Wakamotoharu  3-6  (1)
                        J7
(o)  5-4  Kyokutaisei   J8   Ikioi         2-7  (3)
(1)  4-5  Tsurugisho    J9   Daishomaru    4-5  (1)
(o)  6-3  Hakuyozan     J10  Kyokushuho    6-3  (o)
(1)  5-4  Mitoryu       J11  Abi          susp. (x)
(1)  6-3  Takagenji     J12  Jokoryu       7-2  (o)
(1)  6-3  Ura           J13  Nishikifuji   1-8  (6)
(x)  0-9  Fujiazuma     J14  Chiyonoumi    6-3  (2)

(x)  1-4  Daishoho      Ms1  Naya          4-1
     3-2  Yago          Ms2  Shiraishi     3-2
     3-2  Kitaharima    Ms3
     3-2  Bushozan      Ms4  Terasawa      2-3
     2-3  Chiyoarashi   Ms5  Kotokuzan     3-2
                        ...
                        Ms12 Roga          5-0
                        ...
                        Ms15 Ryuko         5-0

________________________________________________________________________

Juryo yusho race through Day 9:

7-2 J2e Midorifuji, J12w Jokoryu

6-3 J4e Chiyomaru, J7w Azumaryu, J10e Hakuyozan, J10w Kyokushuho, J12e Takagenji, J13e Ura, J14w Chiyonoumi

5-4 J1e Akiseyama, J3e Ishiura, J5e Daiamami, J5w Hidenoumi, J6e Churanoumi, J7e Chiyootori,J8e Kyokutaisei, J11e Mitoryu

2 onward and 2 down among yesterday's four leaders, so the loss line remains at 2 and we're now at least at a yusho arasoi that only includes rikishi who actually have more wins than losses. The overall field isn't that much smaller than it was, though, with only Nishikigi and Tsurugisho dropping off to 4-5.

Not a great showing by my personal (as of yesterday at least) yusho favourite Azumaryu today, while Jokoryu looked good heaving big Tsurugisho across the tawara after a bit of a standstill in the middle of the dohyo. Pre-tournament my pick of the bunch was Ura, but his sumo has been a bit hit and miss. (Not to mention already too often eerily reminiscent of the stuff that got him injured and into the banzuke wilderness for three years in the first place.)


Sorry, no lower divisions overview today, in part because I'm out of time, but also because one of the 18 matches is only happening on the Day 10 torikumi. Full video coverage of the round tomorrow to make up for it, though.

Edited by Asashosakari
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33 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

Among the rikishi who entered Day 9 needing 3 wins, Kaisei was only joined as a winner by Chiyoshoma who henka'ed his way to the shiroboshi against Terutsuyoshi.

Isn't M14w Kotonowaka in the same boat as Kaisei? I've got them needing one more apiece, though I can see the case for two.

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6 minutes ago, Reonito said:

Isn't M14w Kotonowaka in the same boat as Kaisei? I've got them needing one more apiece, though I can see the case for two.

Oops, good catch. I just plain missed to include him in the table yesterday, no idea how that happened. I'll edit.

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Juryo yusho race through Day 10:

7-3 J2e Midorifuji, J4e Chiyomaru, J10w Kyokushuho, J12w Jokoryu, J13e Ura, J14w Chiyonoumi

6-4 J1e Akiseyama, J3e Ishiura, J7w Azumaryu, J8e Kyokutaisei, J10e Hakuyozan, J11e Mitoryu, J12e Takagenji

5-5 J5e Daiamami, J5w Hidenoumi, J6e Churanoumi, J7e Chiyootori, J9w Daishomaru

Welcome to this month's edition of "How juryo can juryo be?" Losses by yesterday's leading duo Jokoryu and Midorifuji - defeated not by actual juryo aite, but by opposition from makushita (Kitaharima) and makuuchi (Chiyoshoma) respectively - opened the door to their 7 pursuers. These were helpfully paired up into matches as much as possible, so no more than four of them were able to join the lead, and that's what we got. Ura completed the lineup alongside the three head-to-head winners.

Much the same thing happened to the 8 contestants on 5-4 who also went through the day in three direct matchups and just two against other opponents, which yielded four winners here as well.

I'm rather doubtful that one of the leaders will hold on to their three-loss record, so 11-4 would appear to be the most likely yusho score at this point; not that 10-5 would be all that surprising, though.

Not nearly as many same-score meetings on Day 11 as there were today:

J12w Jokoryu (7-3)      -  J10w Kyokushuho (7-3)

J13e Ura (7-3)          -  J9w  Daishomaru (5-5)
J14w Chiyonoumi (7-3)   -  J4w  Nishikigi (4-6)
J4e  Chiyomaru (7-3)    -  J5w  Hidenoumi (5-5)
J2e  Midorifuji (7-3)   -  J5e  Daiamami (5-5)

J8e  Kyokutaisei (6-4)  -  J10e Hakuyozan (6-4)

J12e Takagenji (6-4)    -  Ms1w Naya (4-1)
J6e  Churanoumi (5-5)   -  J11e Mitoryu (6-4)
J7w  Azumaryu (6-4)     -  J1w  Chiyonoo (3-7)
J1e  Akiseyama (6-4)    -  J6w  Wakamotoharu (3-7)
M15e Chiyotairyu (6-4)  -  J3e  Ishiura (6-4)

J7e  Chiyootori (5-5)   -  J14e Fujiazuma (0-10)

I'm heartened that we're going to see at least one kachikoshi for sure.


Lower division yusho races (Day 9-10 results with links to video, also available as playlist):

4-1 Ms1w Naya (Otake)
5-0 Ms12w Roga (Futagoyama)
5-0 Ms15w Ryuko (Onoe)
4-1 Ms23e Yuma (Onomatsu)
5-0 Ms35w Ito (Shikoroyama)
4-1 Ms41w Ryusei (Kagamiyama)
4-1 Ms53w Obayama (Tokitsukaze)
5-0 Ms60w Kainoshima (Fujishima)

4-1 Sd12e Kaizen (Asakayama)
5-0 Sd21e Hokuseiho (Miyagino)
4-1 Sd27e Kotokume (Sadogatake)
5-0 Sd30w Denuma (Futagoyama)
5-0 Sd40e Kaiseijo (Asakayama)
4-1 Sd50e Wakakinsho (Nishonoseki)
4-1 Sd58w Komanokuni (Shibatayama)
5-0 Sd64w Hikarifuji (Isegahama)
5-0 Sd72w Taiyo (Onoe)
4-1 Sd85w Kotonoumi (Sadogatake)
4-1 Sd93w Takeoka (Oguruma)
5-0 Sd98e Imafuku (Nishonoseki)

5-0 Jd6w Ofukasawa (Naruto)
5-0 Jd8w Hagiwara (Naruto)
4-1 Jd25e Sakabayashi (Onoe)
4-1 Jd40e Yuriki (Chiganoura)
4-1 Jd43e Kotokonno (Sadogatake)
5-0 Jd55w Osuzuki (Naruto)
5-0 Jd60w Shimoyama (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Jd71w Daishohama (Oitekaze)
5-0 Jd78w Akitoba (Minato)
4-1 Jd82e Ieshima (Yamahibiki)
5-0 Jd98w Kenho (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Jd105e Shoryudo (Shikihide)

4-1 Jk2w Wakakaneko (Nishiiwa)
5-0 Jk9w Etsunohana (Tatsunami)
4-1 Jk23w Kaitoma (Asakayama)
5-0 Jk29e Nogami (Oguruma)

Not a great round for Sadogatake-beya who lost all their three contenders, but conversely a great and potentially messy 3-for-3 performance by Naruto-beya's set of recent recruits in jonidan.

No surprises in jonokuchi where the two guys with makushita experience easily prevailed over their lesser opponents. None of the 6 matches in jonidan proved terribly competitive either, and one can only hope we're not in for more of the same on Day 11 when the three upper-ranked Naruto rikishi get to meet the three lower contestants across what are some unusually large rank differences for a round 6. The pedigrees are there, at least, with ex-makushita Kenho, recent high sandanme Akitoba (back from two basho out), and 11-1 career start high schooler Shimoyama. Whether it'll be enough to deal with collegiate duo Hagiwara/Osuzuki and high school grad Ofukasawa, we'll see. The schedule has worked out as nicely as one could have wished for, anyway, with the two high school rookies paired up and the two university guys forced to go against the more experienced aite.

Of the 5 men still standing in sandanme who aren't named Hokuseiho, I suspect Denuma is the only one who may provide at least somewhat of a credible challenge to the huge youngster, so their upcoming Day 11 meeting could well end up being the early yusho decider. It's a highly unusual field of contenders anyway, with not a single basho of makushita experience between them. Unsurprisingly they're also very young in the main, 5 of them being between the ages of 19 and 22 with only 30-year-old Imafuku the major outlier. He's been bouncing between sandanme and jonidan for nearly five years, having previously needed another 6 just to reach sandanme in the first place.

Thank heavens for the marquee match between Naya and Roga, because the rest of the makushita slate sadly wasn't that much to write home about either. Impressively quick victory for Ryuko, at least, who finally looks to be back in the form that earned him his (injury-marred, eventually) sekitori debut a year and a half ago. I won't venture to guess who's going to grab the 6-0 between the two R's, but whoever does should be the strong favourite to take the yusho two days later as well and secure his juryo debut along the way.

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Day 10 (results, text-only results)

9-1 O1e Takakeisho, M17e Shimanoumi

8-2 Ke Terunofuji, M6e Takarafuji, M10e Ryuden

7-3 M2w Daieisho, M14e Chiyonokuni

The yusho field thinned out significantly today, largely on the back of only one victory among the 5 contenders at 6-3. Daieisho was the one to do it with an impressive defeat of fellow joi mainstay Okinoumi. He's joined on 7 wins by Chiyonokuni who had no answer to co-leader Shimanoumi's forward movement and found himself marched out of the ring before too long.

Bouncing back from a loss tends to be easier when you're getting to face an opponent you've never lost to, and so it was the case for ozeki Takakeisho today, who took a bit of time but never looked in danger in running his career head-to-head to 11-0 against veteran Myogiryu. Yesterday's third co-leader Takarafuji found himself in a massive challenge by enigmatic Hokutofuji, and after their highly competitive first match was seen as too close to call the second one was almost all Hokutofuji.

It's almost not absurd in this year of sumo, but we now have an arasoi that's led by both the highest- and the lowest-ranked active top division rikishi. That same situation almost - and sort of - occurred back in July as well, when yokozuna Hakuho's withdrawal after Day 12 left leading duo Asanoyama at O1w and Terunofuji at M17e as the top and second-lowest participants entering the Day 13 action. (Asanoyama was no longer in the lead by the time Day 13 had actually taken place, of course, as they met head-to-head that day.)

Speaking of Terunofuji, he too got back to his winning ways today, providing a throwback (liftback?) to his earlier ozeki days with a big ol' tsuridashi win over pesky Tobizaru. Whether doing that kind of sumo is really a good idea when your knees are already far from healthy, I dunno. Nevertheless, he retained his position as one of the chasers of the leading pair, now joined by stablemate Takarafuji as well as by Ryuden, who bounced his way to kachikoshi against Tamawashi.

Sekiwake Mitakeumi posted another rather feeble loss, this time to Kotoshoho in a match that somewhat blurred the lines on who's the perennial ozeki hopeful and who's the largely untested upstart here... Fellow youngster Takanosho improved his record to 5-5 against Takayasu to put his sekiwake debut campaign back on track towards kachikoshi. Komusubi Takayasu is also 5-5 now. Both still need to face Mitakeumi (Takayasu does so tomorrow), and Takanosho additionally will also meet Terunofuji at some point.

    kyujo Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     9-1  Takakeisho    O1   Asanoyama    1-2-7
    3-2-5 Shodai        O2   ---
     6-4  Mitakeumi     S    Takanosho     5-5
     8-2  Terunofuji    K    Takayasu      5-5

                        M1   Wakatakakage  2-8  (x)
     4-6  Onosho        M2   Daieisho      7-3
     4-6  Kagayaki      M3   Okinoumi      5-5
     6-4  Hokutofuji    M4   Tobizaru      3-7  (x)
(x)  3-7  Myogiryu      M5   Kotoshoho     6-4
     8-2  Takarafuji    M6   Tamawashi     6-4
     5-5  Tochinoshin   M7   Endo          6-4
                        M8
(x)  5-5  Tokushoryu    M9   Kotoeko       6-4
     8-2  Ryuden        M10
                        ...
     7-3  Chiyonokuni   M14
                        ...
     9-1  Shimanoumi    M17

________________________________________________________________________

It was a pretty successful day for our crowd of 12 demotion candidates, as they put up a combined line of 8-4 with all of the losses unavoidable due to direct clashes among the 12. In head-to-head action Yutakayama finally won one again after four days, though his outing against Terutsuyoshi was arguably one of his worse efforts of the basho, Hoshoryu easily disposed of ailing Sadanoumi, Kotonowaka had the better match plan against Akua and crushed him across the tawara before long, and Enho prevailed over Chiyotairyu in by far the weirdest bout of the day.

Ichinojo-Tochinoshin was a mainstay big-man battle in makuuchi for half a decade, but today's meeting was their first of 2020, won by the Mongolian in what might have been his best bout of the tournament so far. Kaisei-Aoiyama provided another spectacle of nearly 400 kg clashing on the dohyo, duly won by the Brazilian as he tries to hang on to his makuuchi spot. Elsewhere, Meisei defeated Tokushoryu to secure his position in the top division for January, and freshly returned Chiyoshoma took a big step towards kachikoshi against juryo visitor Midorifuji.

With that Midorifuji loss, his first in 7 days, we continue the wait for the first juryo rikishi who may be anointed as a promotee for this basho. Inverting the results of the day before, the highest-ranked candidates were largely successful with victories for Akiseyama, Ishiura, Chiyomaru and even Chiyonoo, while a lot of the lower-ranked outside hopefuls were defeated.

                        M8   Terutsuyoshi  2-8  (2)
                        M9
                        M10  Meisei        5-5  (o)
(3)  2-8  Sadanoumi     M11  Enho          2-8  (3)
(2)  3-7  Yutakayama    M12  Kaisei        5-5  (1)
(o)  6-4  Hoshoryu      M13  Ichinojo      3-7  (3)
                        M14  Kotonowaka    6-4  (1)
(1)  6-4  Chiyotairyu   M15  Kotoyuki     kyujo (x)
(1)  6-4  Chiyoshoma    M16  Akua          5-5  (3)
                        M17  ---

(2)  6-4  Akiseyama     J1   Chiyonoo      3-7  (5)
(2)  7-3  Midorifuji    J2
(3)  6-4  Ishiura       J3
(3)  7-3  Chiyomaru     J4   Nishikigi     4-6  (~)
(5)  5-5  Daiamami      J5   Hidenoumi     5-5  (5)
(~)  5-5  Churanoumi    J6
(~)  5-5  Chiyootori    J7   Azumaryu      6-4  (5)
(~)  6-4  Kyokutaisei   J8
                        J9
(x)  6-4  Hakuyozan     J10  Kyokushuho    7-3  (~)
                        J11
                        J12  Jokoryu       7-3  (x)

________________________________________________________________________

Another day, another 4 juryo rikishi no longer in danger of demotion. Ura and Tsurugisho faced off with a safe record on the line for both, and the small trickster had the better end of it, his now 7 wins also putting him into yusho contention. Daishomaru equalled last basho's win total with a defeat of Nishikifuji, whose 9th loss should mean a trip back to makushita. Mitoryu is also safe after beating Chiyootori to complete 3 straight years in juryo since he debuted, and continue into the new year. Lastly, Shohozan ought to be good for at least one more sekitori tournament now with his second win of the basho against Nishikigi.

Ikioi and Fujiazuma had a surprisingly good match for two rikishi with just two wins between them, but they got sent to torinaoshi which was a much more straight-forward deal for Ikioi then, so Fujiazuma remains winless through 10.

No action on the makushita side except for Kitaharima's visit to juryo in which he posted an impressive victory over yusho co-leader Jokoryu to clinch his kachikoshi. 4 wins might still not be enough from Ms3e though even with 4 slots available, so his campaign for a record-equalling 9th promotion to juryo isn't finished yet.

                        J2   Shohozan      2-8  (o)
                        J3   Kotoshogiku   1-6i (x)
                        ...
                        J6   Wakamotoharu  3-7  (1)
                        J7
                        J8   Ikioi         3-7  (2)
(1)  4-6  Tsurugisho    J9   Daishomaru    5-5  (o)
                        J10
(o)  6-4  Mitoryu       J11  Abi          susp. (x)
(1)  6-4  Takagenji     J12
(o)  7-3  Ura           J13  Nishikifuji   1-9  (x)
(x)  0-10 Fujiazuma     J14  Chiyonoumi    7-3  (1)

                        Ms1  Naya          4-1
     3-2  Yago          Ms2  Shiraishi     3-2
     4-2  Kitaharima    Ms3
     3-2  Bushozan      Ms4  Terasawa      2-3
     2-3  Chiyoarashi   Ms5  Kotokuzan     3-2
                        ...
                        Ms12 Roga          5-0
                        ...
                        Ms15 Ryuko         5-0

Edited by Asashosakari
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For some reason, sumodb shows only 6 wins for Daieisho in the Makuuchi Yusho Arasoi sidebar...

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If they're going to want to get Takarafuji against all the sanyaku, they will need to pair him against Takanosho Day 12, leaving his match against Takakeisho until the latter's last maegashira match, as otherwise they'll run into a crunch of not having a top sanyaku opponent for him the day that Mitakeumi and Takanosho meet and needing to face both of the latter two the day they don't meet.  Takayasu can of course be left for Day 15, in the soroibumi to boot.

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7 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

If they're going to want to get Takarafuji against all the sanyaku, they will need to pair him against Takanosho Day 12, leaving his match against Takakeisho until the latter's last maegashira match, as otherwise they'll run into a crunch of not having a top sanyaku opponent for him the day that Mitakeumi and Takanosho meet and needing to face both of the latter two the day they don't meet.  Takayasu can of course be left for Day 15, in the soroibumi to boot.

I mention this because normally it would not be a priority to get Takanosho against the top rank opponents he could face since he's only Sekiwake.  But they're more likely to want to do it this time since Takarafuji is in the yusho race.  They routinely look ahead for blockages like this when it comes to scheduling the intra-sanyaku matches since those are strictly regimented, but they often ignore the future for maegashira matches.

Edited by Gurowake

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17 minutes ago, Reonito said:

For some reason, sumodb shows only 6 wins for Daieisho in the Makuuchi Yusho Arasoi sidebar...

He's showing as 7 wins on the banzuke page, but 6 on the torikumi page. His matchup with Myogiryu has gone AWOL. Myogiryu, of course has the same problem, as do Chiyomaru and Wakamotoharu. The matchup between Terutsuyoshi and Tamawashi has also been affected.

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3 hours ago, Gurowake said:

If they're going to want to get Takarafuji against all the sanyaku, they will need to pair him against Takanosho Day 12, leaving his match against Takakeisho until the latter's last maegashira match, as otherwise they'll run into a crunch of not having a top sanyaku opponent for him the day that Mitakeumi and Takanosho meet and needing to face both of the latter two the day they don't meet.  Takayasu can of course be left for Day 15, in the soroibumi to boot.

Day 15 Takakeisho-Terunofuji and Mitakeumi-Takanosho would be a way around that, no?

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2 hours ago, Asashosakari said:
6 hours ago, Gurowake said:

If they're going to want to get Takarafuji against all the sanyaku, they will need to pair him against Takanosho Day 12, leaving his match against Takakeisho until the latter's last maegashira match, as otherwise they'll run into a crunch of not having a top sanyaku opponent for him the day that Mitakeumi and Takanosho meet and needing to face both of the latter two the day they don't meet.  Takayasu can of course be left for Day 15, in the soroibumi to boot.

Day 15 Takakeisho-Terunofuji and Mitakeumi-Takanosho would be a way around that, no?

Now moot after Takarafuji lost a further two back to back. It's Shimanoumi v Ryuden that's the bigger concern now, since if Shimanoumi wins, then he will have to replace Tamawashi on day 13 against Takakeisho if they keep the remaining intra-sanyaku bouts intact. But the way Mitakeumi has been going, they may just sacrifice the Mitakeumi-Takakeisho bout, which has the good side effect of removing the most pesky* opponent from Takakeisho's path to the yusho.

*meaning good things never happen when Mitakeumi and Takakeisho meet; the last time they did so when TKS was in yusho contention, he tore his pectoral.

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