Asashosakari

Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2021

Recommended Posts

20 minutes ago, Reonito said:

looks like you need to trim some text from yesterday's post from the end of today's

You've seen nothing... (Wearingapaperbag...)
 

Juryo yusho race through Day 12:

10-2 J8e Tsurugisho

9-3 J8w Daishomaru

8-4 J6w Hidenoumi, J10e Ura, J10w Mitoryu

Tsurugisho just couldn't seem to find a way to muscle big Yago out of the ring, so it's loss #2 for the leader. Daishomaru took advantage of it against Ikioi to halve the gap, and we might actually have a real race here now. Mitoryu wasn't able to keep up the pace as he was felled by Ura's nifty ashitori. Ura is back in the two-wins-off group after four days, while Hidenoumi (victorious over Tohakuryu) is among the semi-pursuers again after two.

Up for Day 13, could be worse under the circumstances:

J8e  Tsurugisho (10-2)  -  J10w Mitoryu (8-4)

J14w Tohakuryu (6-6)    -  J8w  Daishomaru (9-3)

J10e Ura (8-4)          -  J7w  Nishikigi (2-10)
J14e Ryuko (4-8)        -  J6w  Hidenoumi (8-4)

Potential remaining opponents:

Tsurugisho - Oho, Ikioi, Ryuko
Daishomaru - Shohozan, Azumaryu, Takagenji
Hidenoumi - Kotoyuki, Oho, Yago
Ura - Azumaryu, Takagenji
Mitoryu - Shohozan, Azumaryu, Nishikigi, Yago, Tohakuryu


Lower division yusho races:

6-0 Ms8w Shohoryu (Tokitsukaze)
6-0 Ms48w Hamayutaka (Tokitsukaze)

6-0 Sd38w Roman (Tatsunami)
6-0 Sd54e Oginohama (Dewanoumi)

6-0 Jd15e Nogami (Oguruma)
6-0 Jd57w Hatooka (Kise)
6-0 Jd81w Ryutsukasa (Irumagawa)

6-0 Jk25w Arauma (Isenoumi)

The expected matchups. The lower six undefeated rikishi have been paired up, while the Tokitsukaze duo are facing 5-1 opponents. For Shohoryu's it's the obvious choice in Ms5w Nishikifuji, and Hamayutaka has been given the highest-ranked possibility after that, veteran Ms17w Ryusei.

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy to see Bushozan not completely collapse after that 3-0 start. Hopefully its enough to sneak in, if he's going to use 2/3 of my name he might as well be good (Laughing...)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Yokozuna Hattorizakura said:

if shohoryu gets 7 wins but loses the playoff, will he still be auto promoted?

 

(Answered when Shohoryu already lost his 7th match and we'll have 9-man makushita playoff)

I think, with his rank in top 15 makushita, a 7-0 score (yusho or not) will probably promote him to juryo. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ex-sekitori through Day 12.

new KK: Kaisho, Asagyokusei, Oki, Dairaido

new MK: Kitaharima, Amakaze, Irodori

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
2-4 Ms1e Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 2
3-3 Ms3w Ichiyamamoto Nishonoseki 27 6
3-3 Ms4w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 2
5-1 Ms5w Nishikifuji Isegahama 24 1
 
kyujo (c) Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 44
0-6 Ms13e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 1
4-2 Ms13w Kaisho Asakayama 25 6
3-3 Ms15e Asabenkei Takasago 31 3
 
susp. Ms16e Abi Shikoroyama 26 1
5-1 Ms19w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 5
4-2 Ms20e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 4
2-4 Ms28w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 44
2-4 Ms29e Amakaze Oguruma 29 16
 
kyujo Ms31w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 17
3-3 Ms35w Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 49
4-2 Ms36e Oki Shikoroyama 24 2
3-3 Ms41e Daiseido Kise 28 10
1-5 Ms42e Higonojo Kise 36 39
kyujo (c) Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 21
2-4 Ms56w Irodori Shikoroyama 28 5
 
0-1-5 Sd4w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 34
3-3 Sd27w Takaryu Kise 28 32
2-4 Sd35w Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 40
4-2 Sd41e Dairaido Takadagawa 40 85
3-3 Sd62e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 55
kyujo Sd73w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 27
kyujo Sd95w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 4
 
5-1 Jd27e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 37
5-1 Jd46w Fukushima Nishikido 24 12

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 13 (results, text-only results)

11-2 O1w ShodaiM1w Daieisho

10-3 ---

9-4 O2e Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M12e Ichinojo, M15w Kotonowaka

In a turnaround from yesterday, it was time for Daieisho to show convincing sumo in his victory over Ryuden, while Shodai barely survived against sekiwake Takanosho. With both continuing to be two wins ahead, time is running out for the other yusho hopefuls - we're down one of them after Meisei was unable to go to 9-4 against Onosho who clinched his first KK against a full joi schedule since Kyushu 2017.

The komusubi duo Takayasu and Mitakeumi also achieved their kachikoshi today, probably ensuring that we'll see all four lower sanyaku incumbents in the titled ranks again in the next tournament. Takanosho is still one win away from defending his sekiwake position, but considering Mitakeumi didn't get demoted to maegashira last time with two eminently qualified maegashira gunning for his spot, it seems reasonably safe to say that Takanosho will at least be komusubi on the next rankings, too. It's inconceivable that they'll deny Daieisho again, no matter what final record he ends up with, so a 10-rikishi sanyaku ought to be in the cards. Nevertheless, we appear headed towards at least one maegashira getting left out unluckily again - Takarafuji and Onosho can still finish as high as 10-5, and at least for Takarafuji even 9-6 would already be a fairly rough non-promotion.

Terunofuji dispatched Endo with relative ease and with 9 wins he has achieved the absolute bare minimum required to be reasonably considered an ozeki promotion candidate next basho. Of course 10 or even 11 wins won't only look better, but also make it easier for him to achieve whatever target the shimpan group may expect him to reach.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
    2-8-3 Takakeisho    O1   Shodai       11-2
     9-4  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     9-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     7-6
     8-5  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     8-5

                        M1   Daieisho     11-2
     8-5  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        8-5
                        M4
                        M5   Okinoumi      7-6
                        M6
     8-5  Meisei        M7

If at least one of the leaders wins tomorrow, the yusho decision becomes a two-horse race. Shodai will get tested mightily if he wants to do it, as Terunofuji stands in his way next, while Daieisho will meet always-dangerous Tamawashi (M4w 5-8).

__________________________________________________________________

With his third consecutive loss, today against yusho-contending Ichinojo, bottom-ranked maegashira Sadanoumi has fallen to makekoshi and only a minor miracle can still save him now, so he's probably headed to juryo for the first time since Haru 2018. (Actually, perhaps only a major miracle, considering the M17e spot is set to disappear...) It was an interesting three years for sure, during which he never ranked higher than M8w - that takes some doing. Akua continues to hang on against all odds, beating upper-ranked underachiever Kotoshoho today, but he'll need to do it twice more to stage a last-minute escape.

Things are getting somewhat troublesome for Tokushoryu as well, now with 9 straight defeats after he stood little chance against joi regular Hokutofuji. Terutsuyoshi was also unable to save himself for now, as he got pulled down quickly by Kiribayama (first win in five days for him). On the flipside, two others are completely safe after today: It's last basho's two promotees from juryo, newcomer Midorifuji and returned Akiseyama, who both earned their 8th win today, against top division veterans Myogiryu and Yutakayama respectively. Another makuuchi stalwart, Aoiyama, has struggled hard in recent days with 6 losses in 7 matches. Ordinarily safe with his current 5-8 record, he really ought to tack on one more win to make sure this time around.

As all juryo rikishi entered Day 13 needing at least two more wins we still don't have any promotable records to highlight, but Oitekaze duo Daiamami and Tsurugisho did have a successful day beating Hakuyozan and Mitoryu, so they just might do it tomorrow. Daishomaru, yet another rikishi of their heya, was defeated by newcomer Tohakuryu for his first loss in four days and is likely out of it now.

Churanoumi wasn't able to beat Takagenji, either, and suffered a very hard fall in the process; I'm not sure he'll be in sufficient shape to press on towards promotion, if he's not leaving the basho altogether. Hidenoumi rounds out the field of possible promotion candidates for the weekend.

(1)  2-11 Tokushoryu    M8
                        M9
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-8  (Ø)
                        M11
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  5-8  (1)
(2)  4-9  Akua          M13
                        M14  Midorifuji    8-5  (o)
(Ø)  7-6  Yutakayama    M15
                        M16  Akiseyama     8-5  (o)
(~)  5-8  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      7-6  (1)
                        J2
                        J3   Churanoumi    7-6  (2)
                        J4
                        J5
                        J6   Hidenoumi     9-4  (2)
                        J7
(1) 11-2  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    9-4  (~)

The only opponent 4-9 or worse that Tokushoryu hasn't met yet is Tochinoshin, and he's probably lucky to avoid him anyway and get comparatively easier Sadanoumi tomorrow as he tries to prevent his losing streak from going into double digits. Akua does get a 4-9 aite in Ryuden, and perhaps he can repeat beating him on a Saturday again (it was Day 7 last basho though). Terutsuyoshi may have lucked out with the best match assignment of the day where he gets to meet 1-12 Kotoshoho.

And over in juryo it's promotion vs. demotion contender when Daiamami has the opportunity to secure his kachikoshi and a likely trip to makuuchi against Yago (J13w 6-7). Tsurugisho gets a nominally even easier matchup with already makushita-bound Ryuko, but of course Tsurugisho is ranked low enough that his numerical target of 12 wins might not actually be enough yet.

__________________________________________________________________

Ryuko is saying goodbye to his salary spot with one of his best matches of the basho, but it still wasn't enough to defeat promotion seeker Hidenoumi, and with 9 losses he is now headed to makushita for sure. Nishikigi and Oho lost as well and have no more room to spare for the final two days. Quite disappointing particularly for Nishikigi who looked a bit unlucky to lose so much during the first week, but has fought more or less equivalent to his 2-11 record since.

A trio of others were successful on Day 13 and avoided their personal crunchtime scenario for the weekend. Amazingly that includes Kotoyuki who had quite possibly his strongest match of the whole tournament in defeating Ikioi. Takagenji and Tohakuryu joined him in winning and also require just one more now. Ikioi and Yago find themselves in the same situation, but they do so after taking losses today. All in all, it seems nearly impossible to predict just how many demotable rikishi we'll end up with - nothing between 1 and as many as 5 would particularly surprise me at this point.

The one spot we do have open has a taker already. Takakento didn't have to do anything but watch today, as zensho low-ranker Shohoryu fell out of contention and then of course Ryuko made way for him in juryo. It's been a long time coming for the 24-year-old who has spent the last six years almost entirely in makushita, the last three as a regular denizen of its upper half. Somewhat unusually this has been his debut in the top 5 promotion zone, though; not many of the "slow and steady advancement" guys manage to come through their very first promotion opportunity.

There's no shortage of other potential claimants, should the juryo crowd falter. Bushozan of course already secured his KK against a juryo opponent yesterday, and Ichiyamamoto followed along against Yago today. He is only going to be 4th or 5th in line for promotion, however, so that will be a bit of a longshot that needs a lot of weekend matches to go in his favour. Bushozan stands second in line, while the third slot was taken up by Nishikifuji with his victory over Shohoryu.

                        J7   Nishikigi     2-11 (2)
                        J8
                        J9   Kotoyuki      4-9  (1)
                        J10
                        J11  Oho           4-9  (2)
                        J12  Takagenji     6-7  (1)
(1)  6-7  Ikioi         J13  Yago          6-7  (1)
(x)  4-9  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     7-6  (1)

                        Ms1  Takakento     4-2  (o)
     4-3  Bushozan      Ms2
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  4-3
                        Ms4  Daishoho      3-3
     4-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   6-1
                        ...
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      6-1  (x)

We continue the rank-descending parade of makushita rikishi visiting juryo for their final match, so tomorrow it's Daishoho who comes up; he will meet Ikioi. It seems quite unlikely that the number of available slots will end up sufficiently large for him to get promoted, but of course at 3-3 he has urgent other reasons to want to win the match anyway. Last not least, Tochimaru will be getting the call on senshuraku. Unlike Daishoho, he's in a position to push Ichiyamamoto down the queue and become the #4 promotee himself.

Pretty hard matchups for Nishikigi (against J10w 8-5 Mitoryu) and Oho (versus J12e 7-6 Hakuyozan) tomorrow as they try to avoid falling to makushita. I'd like to blame this scheduling on the shortage of warm bodies in juryo this basho, but truth be told, while the match-making constraints are pretty severe by now, those two pairings still aren't a particularly unusual sight for demotion candidates.

__________________________________________________________________

Juryo yusho race through Day 13:

11-2 J8e Tsurugisho

10-3 ---

9-4 J6w Hidenoumi, J8w Daishomaru, J10e Ura

Those hopes for an exciting yusho race homestretch didn't get to last long, thanks to Tohakuryu who outmaneuvered Daishomaru quickly today to give him his fourth loss. Tsurugisho made equally short work of pursuer Mitoryu in the next match to re-open his lead to two wins. At least there's still a sizable number of rikishi giving chase with Hidenoumi and Ura joining Daishomaru on 9-4, both also looked good against Nishikigi and Ryuko (although that's perhaps not difficult to do this basho). Still, it feels rather unlikely that Tsurugisho could actually be losing twice on the weekend.

Up for Day 14, it gets less pretty:

J8e  Tsurugisho (11-2)  -  J14e Ryuko (4-9)

J6e  Azumaryu (6-7)     -  J10e Ura (9-4)
J9w  Kotoyuki (4-9)     -  J6w  Hidenoumi (9-4)
J4e  Shohozan (5-8)     -  J8w  Daishomaru (9-4)

Potential remaining opponents:

Tsurugisho - Oho, Ikioi
Daishomaru - Azumaryu, Takagenji
Hidenoumi - Oho, Yago
Ura - Takagenji

On a side note, unless they get creative with sending juryo rikishi up to makuuchi, there are no less than 3 Day 15 matches in juryo which are set in stone by necessity - aside from Ura having only Takagenji left as a possible opponent, his Kise heyamate Jokoryu can only go against Nishikigi, and Daishomaru will have to meet Azumaryu. (As noted above, Daishomaru also has Takagenji theoretically available, but of course Ura will get dibs on him.) The rest of the schedule still has a few degrees of freedom, but the scope for matchups that actually make sense (e.g. the dreaded 7-7 vs 7-7's) is extremely limited.


Too short on time to give the convoluted situation in the lower division races a proper treatment tonight, I'm afraid, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

It's inconceivable that they'll deny Daieisho again, no matter what final record he ends up with, so a 10-rikishi sanyaku ought to be in the cards.

If he takes the yuhso do you think they add an extra sekiwake for him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 14 (results, text-only results)

12-2 M1w Daieisho

11-3 O1w Shodai

10-4 O2e Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M15w Kotonowaka

An excellent day of sumo was capped by an astoundingly crazy match between yusho co-leader Shodai and pursuer Terunofuji, which had both in major trouble multiple times before the eventual finish saw the sekiwake powerfully slap down the ozeki. Terunofuji assured himself of an opportunity to get back to the ozeki rank himself with the next tournament's result - but it didn't help his yusho cause this time around as Daieisho had already pushed the leader line to 12-2 against Tamawashi earlier in the day, eliminating Terunofuji and the other 9-4's from contention.

Joining Terunofuji at 10-4 and still with a shot at the shared runner-up spot, should Shodai lose tomorrow: Ozeki Asanoyama with a quick victory over erstwhile yusho contender Meisei, three straight losses for him since he was just one off the pace at 8-3. Also on 10 wins is Kotonowaka after he prevailed in a nice seesaw shoveathon with Yutakayama. It's the youngster's first double-digit record in his fourth appearance in the top flight, and perhaps he'll even attract sansho attention tomorrow. (If he does, probably only conditional on an 11th win though.) Ichinojo failed to remain involved in this crowd having lost a long battle to Takarafuji, a guy he has ordinarily dominated with a past 12-2 H2H record.

After today it is certain that the four incumbent lower sanyaku will all be retaining their spots; Takanosho became the last to secure his kachikoshi at the expense of fellow 7-6'er Okinoumi. The komusubi rank saw victory for Takayasu over Kagayaki and a loss for Mitakeumi against Endo...it sure looked like Mitakeumi switched to "nothing left to gain this basho" preservation mode in mid-bout after Endo put up greater than expected resistance. The East side leads the West in wins at both titled ranks, so all four should be staying exactly where they are - unless the banzuke committee decides to make Daieisho K1e or something.

Onosho's "bid" for an unlucky denial of a sanyaku promotion arguably ended at the hands of Shimanoumi today; with at best a 9-6 finish at M3w he won't have anything to complain about. The same is very much not true for Takarafuji one and a half ranks higher and already on 9 wins now. Oddly enough, he too will face Shimanoumi tomorrow. If he gets the 10th win there, I honestly wouldn't be too shocked if they do promote him after all, as they seem to like to do this stuff as package deals (either everybody goes up or nobody does - relevant more often with divisional promotions of course, not at sanyaku), and he might find himself riding Daieisho's coattails to a 6-man lower sanyaku here.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
    2-8-4 Takakeisho    O1   Shodai       11-3
    10-4  Asanoyama     O2   ---
    10-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     8-6
     9-5  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     8-6

                        M1   Daieisho     12-2
     9-5  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        8-6
                        M4
                        M5   Okinoumi      7-7
                        M6
     8-6  Meisei        M7

They have sourced the arguably best possible opponent remaining for Daieisho for senshuraku: it's 7-7 Okinoumi. Only Tochinoshin and Endo rank higher and they're makekoshi, and no lower maegashira particularly stands out as a credible option. If the leader wins, we're done here; if not, the yusho will be decided by the last bout of the tournament, either a Shodai loss to fellow ozeki Asanoyama in the regular musubi no ichiban, or with him winning there and going on to a playoff with Daieisho as the "real" last bout.

The sanyaku soroibumi comprising the last three senshuraku bouts will also feature Terunofuji against Meisei, as well as sekiwake Takanosho versus komusubi Takayasu, the latter making Day 15 the only day with two intra-sanyaku pairings this month. Mitakeumi goes in the fourth-last bout where he will meet Kiribayama (M8w 8-6), and after today's showing I wouldn't be overly surprised if it's not the maegashira who finishes 8-7 here.

__________________________________________________________________

There is no doubt now that Sadanoumi is headed to the juryo division after he picked up his fourth straight loss and fell to 5-9; a pretty disappointing turn of events for me as a fan of his, considering things looked quite promising at 5-5 and his schedule since then was hardly of huge difficulty. That goes particularly for today's matchup with Tokushoryu who was coming in with a 9-day losing streak of his own, which finally ended now.

Conversely, Akua defeated upper-ranked Ryuden today and has gone from 1-8 to 5-9 since Day 9, quite a turnaround on what looked like a certain demotion-worthy performance until then. Terutsuyoshi won a nicely competitive match against Kotoshoho with perhaps the most beautiful utchari in recent memory, and may or may not have done enough to secure his top division spot. Yutakayama and Aoiyama were unable to move themselves off the bubble again, losing for the 3rd and 5th day respectively since they first had the opportunity to do so.

The juryo division is still without any truly promotable records, which doesn't make it any easier to analyze the makuuchi situation. Daiamami found himself locked in an old-school yotsu battle with fellow big man Yago, was unable to budge him much and got walked out of the dohyo soon after. Tsurugisho had a somewhat puzzling loss against makushita-bound Ryuko; both started off the bout with tsuppari, but Tsurugisho began to miss his strikes after the first second or so, Ryuko got in underneath him and made a quick oshidashi beeline for the victory. Shame about that, I was rooting for Tsurugisho to join the rather exclusive club of rikishi with two 13-2 and better results in juryo competition.

Churanoumi, meanwhile, made the decision to withdraw after the rough finish to his Day 13 match with Takagenji, so he is out of the promotion race. Hopefully the fall didn't cause too much damage and he'll be in good enough shape to pick up next basho where he has been forced to leave off this time.

Hidenoumi and Daishomaru were both successful today, moved up to 10-4 and continue to retain some hope of a promotion to makuuchi.

(Ø)  3-11 Tokushoryu    M8
                        M9
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-9  (Ø)
                        M11
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  6-8  (Ø)
(1)  5-9  Akua          M13
                        M14
(Ø)  7-7  Yutakayama    M15
                        M16
(x)  5-9  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      7-7  (1)
                        J2
                        J3   Churanoumi    7-7  (x)
                        J4
                        J5
                        J6   Hidenoumi    10-4  (1)
                        J7
(1) 11-3  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru   10-4  (~)

As mentioned elsewhere I'm a bit surprised that they have tabbed Daishomaru for a makuuchi appearance tomorrow, and against way higher-ranked Tokushoryu to boot. I guess we should in fact consider this an exchange bout given that they had other options here, even with Daishomaru technically too low on the banzuke to be a justifiable promotion with 11 wins. I suppose an argument can be made that he's the 8th-highest active juryo rikishi and thus "J4w-equivalent", but of course the many absences in juryo also mean that his schedule was hardly of normal J4 caliber. (Quite possibly not even of normal J8 caliber, at least for a J8 with so many wins who would have seen a lot of upper-half opponents in the second week, opponents who just aren't there this time.)

The bare minimum outcome here should be that either Tsurugisho or Daiamami takes Sadanoumi's spot. Hidenoumi can actually still move outright ahead of Tsurugisho, but he's meeting Akua tomorrow and if he prevails there he's essentially opening up his own personal spot, leaving the other decision as Tsurugisho/Daiamami. I suppose Akua could be kept even with a 5-10 (so that potentially Hidenoumi replaces Sadanoumi instead, if Daiamami is MK and out), but given Daishomaru's scheduling I assume that they're looking at Tsurugisho as promotable even if he finishes only 11-4. All in all quite messy, and that's before we even consider what all those presumably-locked-in-place kyujo rikishi will do to everybody else's banzuke movements.

Of course, assuming that the J8's are promotable with 11 wins, it follows that Hidenoumi could also get promoted with 10. With possibly as many as four rikishi moving up, a senshuraku loss might see some Ø-marked borderline demotion candidates join Sadanoumi and Akua on the trip to juryo. (I suppose I should also mention Ura's 10-4 at J10e here as a possible promotion if they decide to go really crazy, since even he is competing as the 11th-highest active rikishi.)

Anyway:

J10e Ura (10-4)          -  J12w    Takagenji (7-7)
J8e  Tsurugisho (11-3)   -  J13e    Ikioi (6-8)
J14w Tohakuryu (8-6)     -  J1w     Daiamami (7-7)

M13e Akua (5-9)          -  J6w     Hidenoumi (10-4)
M15e Yutakayama (7-7)    -  M9w     Myogiryu (7-7)
M8e  Tokushoryu (3-11)   -  J8w     Daishomaru (10-4)
M6e  Ryuden (4-10)       -  M10w    Aoiyama (5-9)
M4e  Tochinoshin (4-10)  -  M12w    Terutsuyoshi (6-8)

Feel free to decide for yourself which of these rikishi and matches might actually be relevant for all this, because I'm just blindly guessing, too. (Sadanoumi meets 1-13 Kotoshoho, BTW.)

__________________________________________________________________

A too-little-too-late shiroboshi for Ryuko today, over yusho-leading Tsurugisho no less. He is now set to be accompanied back to makushita by another young guy after Oho was defeated by KK-clinching Hakuyozan. Difficult to say that he's been hard done by in this basho, as his overall performance for his juryo debut really wasn't any better than the 4-10 record indicates. Fellow rookie Tohakuryu has done quite a bit better (and I'd like to pat myself on the back for predicting it after Day 8 when their W-L results were still much closer), although he got a bit lucky to secure his KK by walkover due to unfortunate Churanoumi's withdrawal today.

Most likely also safe after today: Takagenji and Yago. Takagenji defeated Jokoryu who has just completely fallen apart in week two with 6 straight losses, all of them looking bad (and he is lucky that he was already safe with his 5 early wins), while Yago won over top-ranked Daiamami as mentioned above. Nishikigi joined them in winning with victory over Mitoryu, but he still needs to get one more tomorrow.

Veteran pair Kotoyuki and Ikioi are also on the senshuraku bubble. Kotoyuki actually looked quite good again, but yusho-contending Hidenoumi just proved too strong. Ikioi faced the day's makushita visitor Daishoho, but although Ikioi managed to take the initiative off the tachiai, he was unable to finish his aite off quickly. Things settling into a classic yotsu battle afterwards, Daishoho soon managed to march the sekitori stalwart across the tawara. Kachikoshi for Daishoho, but probably not enough to get promoted.

With Oho yielding spot #2, it should be relatively safe to declare Bushozan the second sekitori debutant of the upcoming next banzuke. As alluded to on the weekend he is actually almost the same age as fellow promotee Takakento with just 66 days separating their birthdays, and he too has had lots and lots of time in makushita already - his third-division debut came all the way back in Kyushu 2014 and he has spent all but one basho in there since. Bushozan was already somewhat close to promotion last basho where a 4-3 record at Ms4e put him 6th in line, but only 4 spots were available.

Lastly in Day 13 news, Takakento was also in action and he secured a 5-2 record against Ms8e Murata to conclude his successful promotion campaign.

                        J7   Nishikigi     3-11 (1)
                        J8
                        J9   Kotoyuki      4-10 (1)
                        J10
                        J11  Oho           4-10 (x)
                        J12  Takagenji     7-7  (o)
(1)  6-8  Ikioi         J13  Yago          7-7  (o)
(x)  5-9  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     8-6  (o)

                        Ms1  Takakento     5-2  (o)
(o)  4-3  Bushozan      Ms2
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  4-3
                        Ms4  Daishoho      4-3
     4-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   6-1

The schedule difficulties in juryo mean that Tochimaru's visit tomorrow is almost certainly not a true exchange bout as he is set to meet Yago. It could still decide his promotion fate, of course, but he'll be at the mercy of the endangered trio of juryo rikishi and their opponents: Nishikigi will face Hakuyozan (J12e 8-6), Kotoyuki meets already-demotable Oho, and Ikioi's fate will be decided against...uh-oh, yusho leader Tsurugisho.

__________________________________________________________________

Juryo yusho race through Day 14:

11-3 J8e Tsurugisho

10-4 J6w Hidenoumi, J8w Daishomaru, J10e Ura

9-5 ---

Tsurugisho has alternated wins and losses for the last six days, and Day 14 was a losing one again, so the yusho decision indeed remains open for the final day. His three pursuers were all in action after his loss, and they proceeded to run the table on their opponents. That was the best possible outcome, suspense-wise, although Tsurugisho is still firmly in the driver's seat, of course.

The matches potentially deciding who gets to be part of a playoff for the title (in torikumi order this time):

J10e Ura (10-4)          -  J12w    Takagenji (7-7)

J8e  Tsurugisho (11-3)   -  J13e    Ikioi (6-8)

M13e Akua (5-9)          -  J6w     Hidenoumi (10-4)
M8e  Tokushoryu (3-11)   -  J8w     Daishomaru (10-4)

Should Tsurugisho lose, all required playoffs (jonokuchi, jonidan, makushita and juryo) would be delayed until Daishomaru's match has taken place, the third entry on the makuuchi torikumi. Considering how much time the last 9-man playoff took up, we could be looking at a nearly one-hour break in the top division action before all the matches and the prize presentations are done and dusted. A Tsurugisho victory would of course leave things rather more organized with the lower division playoffs taking place between juryo and makuuchi as usual (although they'll still be a lengthy affair).

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And at last and barely in time...


Lower division yusho races (Day 13 results with video of the 6-0 matches, plus the jonokuchi 5-1 results and the makushita 5-1 results, all also available as playlist):

6-1 Ms8w Shohoryu (Tokitsukaze)
6-1 Ms48w Hamayutaka (Tokitsukaze)

6-1 Sd38w Roman (Tatsunami)
7-0 Sd54e Oginohama (Dewanoumi)

7-0 Jd15e Nogami (Oguruma)
6-1 Jd57w Hatooka (Kise)
7-0 Jd81w Ryutsukasa (Irumagawa)

6-1 Jk25w Arauma (Isenoumi)


As this is a day and a half late, by now you've probably seen what has happened, courtesy of @mt fuji's excellent recaps. In makushita both Tokitsukaze-beya yusho contenders were defeated by their 5-1 opponents, which re-opened the pathway to the title not only to the two victors, but also another nine 5-1 rikishi who had already competed previously in the session:

6-1 Ms8w Shohoryu (Tokitsukaze)
6-1 Ms48w Hamayutaka (Tokitsukaze)

6-1 Ms5w Nishikifuji (Isegahama)
6-1 Ms17w Ryusei (Kagamiyama)
6-1 Ms19w Sakigake (Shibatayama)
5-2 Ms25w Asakoki (Takasago)
6-1 Ms26w Shiba (Kise)
5-2 Ms33e Tsushimanada (Sakaigawa)
5-2 Ms37w Fukai (Takasago)
6-1 Ms52e Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu)
6-1 Ms56e Kototsubasa (Sadogatake)
5-2 Ms57e Wakanoumi (Nishikido)
6-1 Ms60w Fukamiyama (Onoe)

Upper-ranked Nishikifuji and Ryusei were of course the ones to beat Shohoryu and Hamayutaka respectively, the next four winners came out of head-to-head matches within this group, and Fukamiyama won against a 5-1 opponent from sandanme, Hokutokawa.

It's the first 9-rikishi playoff in sumo since the jonidan division saw one in Haru 2013 (link to video in the post just above), and the first specifically in makushita since Nagoya 1996. It's also a makushita playoff again after a break of no less than 26 tournaments which were all decided in regulation; that's the longest period ever seen between two playoffs in the division. The most recent one before today happened back in Natsu 2016 and saw Oyanagi (now Yutakayama) defeat Onosho for the title.

The Day 13 results must have been particularly maddening for Asakoki and Wakanoumi, who had been part of the 5-0 field, lost to Shohoryu and Hamayutaka on Day 11, and now missed out on getting into the yusho decision in a second straight match.

Nishikifuji is the clearly biggest name here not only as the highest-ranking playoff contender, but also due to his very recent sekitori experience. Sakigake is the other ex-sekitori in the field, with the 34-year-old's most recent stint a one-basho appearance exactly a year ago, but the rest of his sekitori days date back to 2014/15. Three former makushita champions are gracing the field with Nishikifuji (Haru 2020), Shiba (Kyushu 2015) and Ryusei (Nagoya 2016); the latter additionally lost another yusho decider to Yago one year later.

It'll be interesting if we get to see the Shohoryu-Hamayutaka same-stable matchup as part of these playoffs after all; beyond them, no heya has double representation. Whoever ends up grabbing the title here will have to get at least three wins. (Assuming a double bye for one rikishi is impossible, which I'm no longer sure about after rewatching the 2013 playoff...) Some people have tabbed Nihonyanagi as the favourite, and that's a decent shout if one doesn't want to do the boring thing and pick Nishikifuji - with barely over a year in the professional ranks, university grad Nihonyanagi's current position of Ms52e is obviously not congruent with his actual skill level yet, so he might well be one of the strongest contenders in the field.

My sentimental pick here would have to be Shohoryu, as a small consolation for having missed out on a sekitori debut, and maybe as a bit of a mental boost towards the next tournament where he'll be ranked high enough to get there the "easy" way, without zensho.

__________________________________________________________________

Moving on to the only division where the yusho is actually already decided before Day 15, the sandanme yusho was claimed by 26-year-old Oginohama, whose mid-makushita experience proved enough to overcome younger Roman in fairly decisive fashion. It's Oginohama's first yusho anywhere following two near-misses: Back in Hatsu 2015 he was one of three 6-0 contenders in sandanme, but lost to 5-1 opponent Nogami (hmm...) to miss out on a possible playoff against the winner of the 6-0 pairing, Ryuden. In Aki 2019 he did get into a playoff in the jonidan division, having missed three tournaments right before to drop down there, but lost to Motobayashi (now Oshoryu). With this 7-0 record in hand at Sd54, Oginohama should be getting back to near his career-high rank of Ms25; probably he'll land somewhere just outside the top 30.

__________________________________________________________________

The jonidan division title will - somewhat unexpectedly - be contested in a playoff after all, thanks to low-ranked contender Ryutsukasa's narrow defeat of overeager rookie Arauma from jonokuchi. He'll be an even bigger underdog in that playoff, where high-makushita regular Nogami awaits him after an all too easy victory over Hatooka (himself a mid-makushita caliber rikishi). Having returned after long-term injury in the November tournament, Nogami will try to make it two titles on the trot.

__________________________________________________________________

And finally, the jonokuchi race was also opened up to the crowd of one-loss rikishi thanks to Arauma not getting that 7th win. 5 rikishi were given the opportunity to qualify and join Arauma for the playoff:

6-1 Jk25w Arauma (Isenoumi)

5-2 Jk1e Fujinoteru (Onoe)
6-1 Jk2w Toshonishiki (Nishikido)
5-2 Jk7e Okanojo (Dewanoumi)
5-2 Jk17e Ryuseiyama (Dewanoumi)
6-1 Jk25e Atamifuji (Isegahama)

Unfortunately Fujinoteru did not succeed against his jonidan opponent Tsukubayama, so this playoff "only" comprises three participants. There hasn't been a jonokuchi playoff with more than 3 rikishi since Hatsu 2005 which saw a 5-way decision. The most recent three-way playoffs happened not that long ago actually, in both Nagoya and Kyushu 2019.

This playoff is far from a foregone conclusion. Arauma may have the edge in both age (24) and experience as a former collegiate competitor, but 18-year-old Atamifuji did defeat him in maezumo two months ago and also handled sandanme regular Ryuseiyama with ease on Day 13. It remains to be seen if Arauma can repeat his victory from back on Day 2 today or if perhaps Atamifuji can take revenge for that. Sadly, third entrant Toshonishiki is likely to be just along for the ride - the 22-year-old has yet to break out beyond mid-jonidan and will find it difficult to trouble the other two contenders.

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A glimpse into the madness that will be the next juryo banzuke...

Ishiura(0-0 J1e)    J1    Tokushoryu(3-12 M8e)
Chiyomaru(0-0 J2e)    J2    Chiyonoo(0-0 J2w)
Enho(0-0 J3e)    J3    Daishomaru(11-4 J8w)
Akua(5-10 M13e)    J4    Kyokushuho(0-0 J4w)
Wakamotoharu(0-0 J5e)    J5    Chiyootori(0-0 J5w)
Sadanoumi(5-10 M17e)    J6    Churanoumi(7-7 J3w)
Kyokutaisei(0-0 J7e)    J7    Ura(10-5 J10e)
Azumaryu(7-8 J6e)    J8    Shohozan(5-10 J4e)
Mitoryu(8-7 J10w)    J9    Hakuyozan(8-7 J12e)
Takagenji(8-7 J12w)    J10    Yago(8-7 J13w)
Chiyonoumi(0-0 J11e)    J11    Tohakuryu(8-7 J14w)
Takakento(5-2 Ms1w)    J12    Nishikifuji(6-1 Ms5w)
Jokoryu(5-10 J9e)    J13    Nishikigi(4-11 J7w)
Bushozan(4-3 Ms2e)    J14    Ichiyamamoto(4-3 Ms3w)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's pretty much exactly what I have. It's awfully harsh on a few rikishi, and especially Churanoumi (a drop of 3 full ranks after a 7-7-1 record), but I don't know what else they can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Reonito said:

That's pretty much exactly what I have. It's awfully harsh on a few rikishi, and especially Churanoumi (a drop of 3 full ranks after a 7-7-1 record), but I don't know what else they can do.

Maybe they can bring back haridashi, but of course that is kind of kicking the can down the road.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Reonito said:

That's pretty much exactly what I have. It's awfully harsh on a few rikishi, and especially Churanoumi (a drop of 3 full ranks after a 7-7-1 record), but I don't know what else they can do.

It also stings to see Ura going up 5 slots after a 10-5, but indeed - there's little else to do.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 15 (results, text-only results)

13-2 M1w Daieisho

12-3 ---

11-4 O1w Shodai, O2e Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji

We didn't get the excitement of a playoff for the championship, but it was arguably even better to see Daieisho not falter under the pressure. Doing what he has done all basho long, he wasted no time driving opponent Okinoumi out of the ring with his trademark pushing attack. Congrats to the 27-year-old Saitama native who continues the odd streak of Hatsu basho delivering us with first-time yusho winners, now for the 6th straight year.

In the end it's even a two-win lead over the field after Asanoyama defeated fellow ozeki Shodai in a less than thrilling musubi no ichiban, not helped by Shikimori Inosuke getting in the wrestlers' way like few gyoji have ever managed. (I have no idea how it'll be seen on the inside, but to me that was even worse than his several sashi-chigae decisions, simply because it was so front-and-center. Will we ever get a Kimura Shonosuke again?) Both ozeki thus ended up with a share of the 11-4 runner-up position, alongside sekiwake Terunofuji who contributed to the final day's action with a powerful victory over Meisei. A jun-yusho score of less than 12-3 was last seen in Kyushu 2019, but this basho was certainly quite a bit more exciting than the final records may make it look.

The yusho winner was also the recipient of the only unconditional sansho of the tournament, a shukun-sho rewarding the general excellence of his performance. No less than five more prizes were subject to the Day 15 events unfolding, comprising two kanto-sho and three gino-sho.

Both kanto-sho ended up not getting awarded in the end, marking the first time since Haru 2016 without any fighting spirit winner, after Kotonowaka and Akiseyama failed to collect their 11th and 10th win, respectively. On the flipside, all three gino-sho candidates came through: Daieisho received one of them for winning the yusho, making him a double prize winner, while others went to Terunofuji and Midorifuji after they decided their senshuraku matches in their favour. Terunofuji now has scored as many sansho (4) in his "second career" as he did before he became ozeki. Meanwhile, Midorifuji is an extremely rare gino-sho-winning top division newcomer. (And with a nod to @Kashunowaka who mentioned it in the basho thread - first basho in history with three gino-sho awards.)

Sekiwake Takanosho quietly continues to post excellent results, this time with 9 wins, the last of which came against komusubi Takayasu today. Mitakeumi also added a 9th win today, beating Kiribayama. All four lower sanyaku have thus ended the basho with 9 or more wins, which has only happened twice before (although admittedly one of those times was just six months ago). As mentioned yesterday all four will be keeping their respective slots, almost certainly with Daieisho getting added as a third sekiwake in between. Any bets as to who will be getting more wins between him and third (kadoban) ozeki Takakeisho?

Terunofuji's 11-4 record has easily qualified him for an ozeki candidacy the next time a basho rolls around. Quite obviously 9 wins won't get it done even though that would total 33-in-3, and I'm not too sure if 10 will be enough either - leaving aside that 13-11-10 is not exactly a great order in which to have three results like that, there's also the problem that if man mountain Terunofuji "only" gets 10 wins, the quality of his sumo may well look pretty lacking and fail to pass the eye test for a "good" performance. Too much is usually made of that factor, but with his specific career history, it could easily come up as a serious topic. Of course, a whole lot of that will also depend on who else actually shows up.

GTB players all over the world probably breathed a sigh of relief when Shimanoumi defeated Takarafuji; to not get to sanyaku with 9 wins from M2e is still pretty harsh, but we've seen that often enough before that it shouldn't be a big question that Takarafuji also won't make it. Fellow joi member Onosho did win on senshuraku, ending Hoshoryu's 9-day shiroboshi streak in the process, and his 9-6 finish should see him take the maegashira 1 west slot alongside Takarafuji. The #2 maegashira also should be easy to figure out with Hokutofuji coming down from M1 with a 7-8 final record (with five straight wins after he MK'ed!), plus Covid-kyujo Wakatakakage. After that it will get decidedly more messy with nobody in or near the joi-jin anywhere close to a credible claim. Long-time fans will probably enjoy the throwback to the 1990s with the massive overpromotions of small KKs that will be required here.

Speaking of small KKs - other than champion Daieisho only low-ranked Kotonowaka managed to reach double digits among the maegashira this basho. A tournament with only two such maegashira results hadn't been seen in six years. Admittedly having five guys forced to sit out probably didn't help the numbers here.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
    2-8-5 Takakeisho    O1   Shodai       11-4
    11-4  Asanoyama     O2   ---
    11-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     9-6
     9-6  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     9-6

                        M1   Daieisho     13-2
     9-6  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        9-6
                        ...
     8-7  Meisei        M7
                        M8   Kiribayama    8-7
                        M9   Myogiryu      8-7
     9-6  Shimanoumi    M10

I suppose it's not out of the question that we'll be getting a "shock" retirement announcement by Kakuryu before Wednesday's banzuke-making session, considering the YDC's post-November admonishment was pretty much "show up and do well now!", not "do well the next time you're up for it". As for what Hakuho's Covid-19 infection will end up meaning in the short and/or long term, I don't dare to speculate.

__________________________________________________________________

Four juryo rikishi were still in the running for promotion on the last day, and all of them proceeded to make the case for themselves with victories. Tsurugisho didn't have to do anything for it, however, after his scheduled opponent Ikioi withdrew with a hand injury. That was also the anti-climactic yusho clincher for Tsurugisho, leaving no opportunity for his three pursuers even before the day's matches began.

However, that trio included Hidenoumi and Daishomaru who were also still in the promotion race, both up in makuuchi for the day. Hidenoumi was successful against Akua, and that ought to have resulted in both changing divisions for the next tournament. Daishomaru defeated Tokushoryu for a slightly more complicated outcome; more on that in a bit. Lastly, top-ranked Daiamami prevailed over low-juryo Tohakuryu to secure his kachikoshi.

In further makuuchi action, Aoiyama and Terutsuyoshi extricated themselves from the mess at the last moment, while Yutakayama was defeated by Myogiryu in a 7-7 decider and ended up with a potentially crucial makekoshi.

(x)  3-12 Tokushoryu    M8
                        M9
                        M10  Aoiyama       6-9  (o)
                        M11
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  7-8  (o)
(x)  5-10 Akua          M13
                        M14
(?)  7-8  Yutakayama    M15
                        M16
(x)  5-10 Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      8-7  (o)
                        J2
                        J3
                        J4
                        J5
                        J6   Hidenoumi    11-4  (o)
                        J7
(o) 12-3  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru   11-4  (?)

We've got two clear demotions with Akua and Sadanoumi now, but arguably only one strong promotion candidate in Daiamami. Hidenoumi and Tsurugisho are there by the numbers, but from relatively low ranks. However, given the many absences in upper juryo and further creditable circumstances (Tsurugisho's yusho, two Hidenoumi wins up in makuuchi) I'm fairly sure that both will end up getting promoted. That does require a third demotion to be sourced, and Tokushoryu is close enough to the line after his 3-12 that there's little reason to keep him, particularly considering he had the prime opportunity to save himself against Daishomaru and didn't manage to come through.

As for Daishomaru himself, things are quite a bit more murky with no real fourth demotee to be seen. They could still decide that Yutakayama is demotable given the overall situation, but it would be quite the departure from established practice. Still, the next banzuke will end up with several problematic areas anyway, and if Tokushoryu, Akua and Sadanoumi are to end up with larger than usual demotions (as they likely will), Yutakayama just might find himself thrown into that pot, too.

__________________________________________________________________

The situation between juryo and makushita appears to be rather more straight-forward. Three juryo rikishi entered the day on the bubble - okay, two did, as Ikioi's withdrawal sealed his fate off the dohyo. The other pair saw success for perhaps the less expected candidate, as Nishikigi posted a second consecutive win, today against already-KK Hakuyozan. Recently resurgent Kotoyuki, on the other hand, was unable to defeat demoting Oho in a heavy-duty shoving duel.

Ryuko joined Oho in posting one last shiroboshi, but it was just too late to help their respective causes. Both should find themselves ranked high enough in the next makushita that even a simple 4-3 may be sufficient to return to the paid ranks immediately, however. Kotoyuki and Ikioi (if he stays active) won't be falling too far either.

Last not least the day saw another makushita visitor with promotion hopes on the juryo torikumi. Unfortunately for him, Tochimaru did not manage to beat KK-cliching Yago. Highly energetic and entertaining (and long!) slapfest, though, not exactly what one has come to expect from Yago matches.

                        J7   Nishikigi     4-11 (o)
                        J8
                        J9   Kotoyuki      4-11 (x)
                        J10
                        J11  Oho           5-10 (x)
                        J12
(x)  6-9  Ikioi         J13
(x)  6-9  Ryuko         J14

                        Ms1  Takakento     5-2  (o)
(o)  4-3  Bushozan      Ms2
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  4-3  (o)
                        Ms4  Daishoho      4-3
     4-3  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   6-1  (o)

With four clear demotions it's just a matter of counting down the list of candidates to see if four reasonably credible promotions can be found, and that's the case here. Tough luck for Tochimaru who most likely would have passed Ichiyamamoto with a 5-2 record and been in line for promotion himself after all.

Ichiyamamoto has posted his 5th straight KK since he got injured in juryo, went 0-2-13 and additionally had to sit out the next basho after demotion to makushita, and he will now return to sekitoridom after 6 unsalaried tournaments. Nishikifuji will go back up after just one makushita appearance, and it's now even more lucky that he was only dropped from J13w to Ms5w despite a disastrous 3-12 record two months ago. Any further and only 7 wins would have done it. Hopefully his second go at juryo will see him fulfill the promise he has frequently shown already - in fact, his juryo debut back in September had started off great with a 7-3 interim record, only to continue with five straight losses and then the 3-12 follow-up.

Nishikigi hangs on by the skin of his teeth, but this basho was not exactly encouraging considering he already had four consecutive makekoshi before (all 6-9's) and that's quite the trend line. In fact, all in all he's on an 11 MK in 12 tournaments bender since the start of 2019, interrupted only by a single 11-4 record the first time he had dropped from makuuchi to juryo. This time around he's been clearly unable to stop the descent, and the spectre of makushita will beckon next basho.

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 9
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Senshuraku of course also saw three lower-division playoffs. I assume you've watched the matches already, but if you've got half an hour and a hankering for the whole thing, an uncut recording of the proceedings is available for your perusal.

__________________________________________________________________

The jonokuchi tomoe-sen saw victory for Atamifuji, who was dominant in both his matches.

Things had started off with Arauma manhandling outclassed Toshonishiki, but against more credible challenger Atamifuji he looked astonishingly green for a collegiate grad again, just like in his losing 6-0 effort two days earlier. Reviewing his other matches just now, I feel fairly secure in saying that his current wall will be no higher than mid-sandanme.

Atamifuji, on the other hand, is an absolute specimen at age 18, and clearly already knows how to make good sumo use of his body. Makekoshi can't always be completely avoided on the way up, but I'd make it odds-on that he's in makushita one year from now (assuming that we actually get 5 more tournaments in 2021).

In any case, with them moving up in tandem with their 6-1 records (to around Jd50), there's a fairly high likelihood that we'll be seeing Atamifuji-Arauma round 4 next time.

__________________________________________________________________

The jonidan decider was the expected easy victory for Nogami who retains his undefeated record since he returned from injury layoff. He'll move up to about Sd20, high enough that another 7-0 would see him straight back in the extended makushita promotion zone. Of course, high sandanme will be a whole different matter for him than jonokuchi and jonidan have been. 6 wins next time out shouldn't be unrealistic at all, though.

Ryutsukasa, even though he also missed two tournaments before this one, is already returning to mostly familiar ground in lower-mid sandanme with this one score, so it would be quite a surprise to see him feature in the yusho-arasoi again.

__________________________________________________________________

And finally, the big 9-rikishi makushita decision ended with a surprise winner in 34-year-old Sakigake, now the 4th-oldest first-time winner of a divisional yusho in modern times. The surprises arguably started early, however, with the schedulers opting for a straight knockout bracket instead of the double-bye format playing down to a tomoe-sen final that has been more commonly used for 9-man playoffs. Time considerations? Covid-19 reservations about a bunch of rikishi drawing lots in close proximity in full camera view? Moon phases? Who knows.

In any case, winner Sakigake was even among the unlucky pair who had to compete in the preliminary match to whittle the field down to 8 contenders, so he had to work extra hard to come out on top.

The 9 participants had already appeared in a total of 5 regulation matches against each other, one of which saw a repeat in these playoffs: After his Day 13 loss, unfortunate Shohoryu found himself stopped again by Nishikifuji here in the quarterfinals.

Both finalists Shiba and Sakigake had looked strong in their qualifying matches, and they quickly stalemated each other for some 30 seconds before Sakigake countered a Shiba attempt at taking the initiative, seizing the moment to start marching his aite out of the dohyo. Truly an impressive showing, and evidently no stamina issues for the former short-time juryo member.

Prior to a harsh 1-6 performance at Ms7w two months ago, Sakigake was still doing well hanging around the promotion zone, and he should be returning to just outside the top 5 ranks. He's clearly still got something left in the tank despite his age, so perhaps he'll soon make a push for another juryo return. An immediate trip to juryo is of course in the cards for Nishikifuji even though he didn't win the title here.

The next high makushita looks somewhat crowded with all 4 demotions from juryo probably not falling very far, so Shohoryu may not be going any higher than Ms4e. Lots of possible, more or less reasonable ways for the banzuke committee to sort things out here, though, so that barely even qualifies as an educated guess.

A somewhat disappointing showing by Nihonyanagi who lost his first match to the arguably least accomplished rikishi in the field, Fukamiyama. We'll see what the immediate future holds for him; he's still set to receive a big jump up the rankings to around Ms23, and that may prove to be Nihonyanagi's first big test. Fukamiyama joins Nihonyanagi and Shohoryu in reaching a new career-high rank on the next banzuke. It'll be the first time the 26-year-old finds himself in makushita's upper half. Lastly, Ryusei - only a couple of months younger than Sakigake - is set to move to his highest rank in 4 and a half years.

__________________________________________________________________

On a final note, this was the first time in 12 years and only the 10th time ever that a basho has seen two lower-division yusho won on 6-1 records.

And with that we're done here. Thanks for reading!

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

Congrats to the 27-year-old Saitama native who continues the odd streak of Hatsu basho delivering us with first-time yusho winners, now for the 6th straight year.

Hatsu basho, hatsu yusho?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Speaking of small KKs - other than champion Daieisho only low-ranked Kotonowaka managed to reach double digits among the maegashira this basho. A tournament with only two such maegashira results hadn't been seen in six years.

Incidentally, those two Maegashira from Hatsu 2015 later joined the Hatsu-hatsu yusho crew.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Both kanto-sho ended up not getting awarded in the end, marking the first time since Haru 2016 without any fighting spirit winner

Aki 2018.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kashunowaka said:

Aki 2018.

"First time since Haru 2016 that prizes were awarded but the fighting spirit prize was not among them";-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Kashunowaka said:

Aki 2018.

My impression is that there was no sansho at all for Aki 2018. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dapeng said:

My impression is that there was no sansho at all for Aki 2018. 

Hence no fighting spirit prize. (Whistling...)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Kashunowaka said:

Aki 2018.

Oh, good catch. I went by the sansho list on the DB. (Laughing...) "Bug" report incoming.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

The surprises arguably started early, however, with the schedulers opting for a straight knockout bracket instead of the double-bye format playing down to a tomoe-sen final that has been more commonly used for 9-man playoffs.

It's funny, I watched the whole things thinking it was the more usual format, and everything that unfolded was perfectly consistent with 8+bye, 4+bye, tomoe-sen, so I was none the wiser at the end. I can only imagine how surprised I would have been if Shiba had won the bout against Sakigake and been declared the champion!

Edited by Reonito

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now