Asashosakari

Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Haru 2021

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(Just backfilling Day 8 as the usual starting point; aside from some minor bits and pieces commentary will commence with the Day 9 updates.)


Day 8 (results, text-only results)

7-1 K1e Takayasu

6-2 Se Terunofuji, M9e Chiyonokuni

5-3 (countless rikishi...well, 12 was the number)

It's looking good for Terunofuji's ozeki challenge so far, while Takakeisho was probably hoping for a smoother ride out of his kadoban status.

    2-1-5 Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     4-4  Shodai        O1   Asanoyama     5-3
     5-3  Takakeisho    O2   ---
     6-2  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     5-3
     7-1  Takayasu      K1   Mitakeumi     4-4
     ---                K2   Daieisho      3-5

     1-7  Takarafuji    M1   Onosho        2-6
     5-3  Hokutofuji    M2   Wakatakakage  4-4
     5-3  Meisei        M3   Shimanoumi    2-6
     3-5  Kiribayama    M4   Myogiryu      5-3
     4-4  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      2-6
     5-3  Tamawashi     M6   Ichinojo      5-3
     3-5  Tochinoshin   M7   Kagayaki      3-5
                        M8   Tobizaru      5-3
     6-2  Chiyonokuni   M9   Hoshoryu      4-4

__________________________________________________________________

A very closely contested basho in the maegashira ranks; other than kyujo Kotoshoho everybody ranked M6 and below managed to gain at least 3 wins by nakabi.

(1)  3-5  Kotonowaka    M8
                        M9
(2)  3-5  Midorifuji    M10  Ryuden        3-5  (2)
(1)  4-4  Chiyotairyu   M11  Kotoshoho    0-3-5 (5)
(2)  4-4  Akiseyama     M12  Aoiyama       4-4  (2)
(1)  5-3  Terutsuyoshi  M13  Chiyoshoma    5-3  (1)
(2)  5-3  Kotoeko       M14  Tsurugisho    3-5  (4)
(4)  3-5  Yutakayama    M15  Hidenoumi     4-4  (3)
(4)  4-4  Kaisei        M16  Daiamami      4-4  (4)

(6)  2-6  Tokushoryu    J1   Akua          4-4  (4)
(4)  5-3  Ishiura       J2   Daishomaru    3-5  (6)
(3)  6-2  Chiyomaru     J3   Chiyonoo      5-3  (4)
(4)  6-2  Enho          J4   Sadanoumi     3-5  (7)
(6)  4-4  Churanoumi    J5   Kyokushuho    2-6  (~)
(6)  5-3  Wakamotoharu  J6
(5)  6-2  Ura           J7   Azumaryu      5-3  (6)
(~)  4-4  Kyokutaisei   J8
(~)  4-4  Mitoryu       J9   Hakuyozan     5-3  (7)
(~)  5-3  Takagenji     J10

__________________________________________________________________
 

                        J5   Kyokushuho    2-6  (1)
                        J6   Chiyootori    2-6  (2)
                        J7
(1)  4-4  Kyokutaisei   J8   Shohozan      3-5  (2)
(1)  4-4  Mitoryu       J9
(1)  5-3  Takagenji     J10  Yago          3-5  (3)
(5)  1-7  Tohakuryu     J11  Takakento     4-4  (2)
(3)  4-4  Chiyonoumi    J12  Nishikifuji   4-4  (3)
(3)  4-4  Jokoryu       J13  Nishikigi     3-5  (4)
(4)  4-4  Bushozan      J14  Ichiyamamoto  5-3  (3)

    kyujo Ikioi         Ms1  Kotoyuki     kyujo
     2-2  Oho           Ms2  Daishoho      3-1
     4-1  Kotokuzan     Ms3  Shohoryu      1-3
     2-2  Tochimaru     Ms4  Ryuko        kyu-c
    kyu-c Hokutenkai    Ms5  Kitaharima   kyu-c
     2-2  Roga          Ms6  Murata        2-2
                        Ms7  Kaisho        3-1
                        ...
                        Ms10 Nakazono      3-1
     3-1  Shiba         Ms11
                        Ms12 Hiradoumi     4-0
                        ...
     4-0  Tokisakae     Ms15

As I have no idea how they're going to take the record number of 5 absent top 5-ranked rikishi into account, I'm arbitrarily listing a bunch more names than usual for now, broadly assuming that 5 wins could be enough from around Ms7 and 6 wins from around Ms10 if the actual top 5 don't produce enough promotion candidates.

__________________________________________________________________

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

Edited by Asashosakari
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Juryo yusho race through Day 8:

6-2 J3e Chiyomaru, J4e Enho, J7e Ura

5-3 J2e Ishiura, J3w Chiyonoo, J6e Wakamotoharu, J7w Azumaryu, J9w Hakuyozan, J10e Takagenji, J14w Ichiyamamoto

4-4 (another 9 rikishi deemed unworthy of being mentioned by name at this point)

Enho was the star of the early days, but at this point it's looking like a veritable free-for-all. I would be surprised if the winning score ends up better than 11-4.


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

4-0 Ms12w Hiradoumi (Sakaigawa)
4-0 Ms15e Tokisakae (Tokitsukaze)
4-0 Ms30w Kotoozutsu (Sadogatake)
4-0 Ms33e Tanabe (Kise)
4-0 Ms39e Tennozan (Onomatsu)
4-0 Ms56w Abi (Shikoroyama)

4-0 Sd6w Seigo (Shikoroyama)
4-0 Sd8w Tokunomusashi (Musashigawa)
4-0 Sd14w Dewanoryu (Dewanoumi)
4-0 Sd26e Dainichido (Michinoku)
4-0 Sd39w Horyuyama (Tamanoi)
4-0 Sd45w Komanokuni (Shibatayama)
4-0 Sd58e Kotorikisen (Sadogatake)
4-0 Sd68w Osuzuki (Naruto)
4-0 Sd76w Iko (Tamanoi)
4-0 Sd80e Fukushima (Nishikido)
4-0 Sd90e Hatooka (Kise)
4-0 Sd100Td Nishikawa (Sakaigawa)

4-0 Jd8w Mutsukaze (Oguruma)
4-0 Jd15e Hokutoyoshi (Hakkaku)
4-0 Jd22w Ryuki (Michinoku)
4-0 Jd23w Kiritsubasa (Michinoku)
4-0 Jd41w Chiyotaiyo (Kokonoe)
4-0 Jd48w Atamifuji (Isegahama)
4-0 Jd64e Bushi (Musashigawa)
4-0 Jd69e Shunpo (Minezaki)
4-0 Jd79w Chiyoyamato (Kokonoe)
4-0 Jd93w Chiyotaisei (Kokonoe)
4-0 Jd102w Takemaru (Miyagino)

4-0 Jk1w Etsunohana (Tatsunami)
4-0 Jk9w Kakutaiki (Michinoku)
4-0 Jk21w Murayama (Naruto)

Due to the various kyujo, again just 32 undefeated lower-division rikishi at this stage of the tournament. Unusually, however, only 6 of them in makushita; that had last happened in Hatsu 2004. There were only 13 rikishi with 3-0 records after Day 6 - last basho we at least had 14 - and the lowest-ranking one was eliminated by a sandanme opponent in round 4. With Abi likely to clean up at the bottom of the division it probably won't end up mattering though, and we'll just get the standard two 6-0's for the Day 13 decider.

Notable exit on Day 8: Returning former maegashira Tomokaze, dropped from the jonidan race by the reigning jonokuchi champion Atamifuji.

Edited by Asashosakari
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The former sekitori through Day 8. 31 of them on the list, two more than last basho after Hatsu concluded with four demotees from juryo being replaced by two returnees and two sekitori newcomers.

February birthdays: Oho, the current youngest (ex-)sekitori, turned 21, while veterans Asabenkei and Kagamio are now 32 and 33 years old, respectively.

March birthdays: Prior to the tournament Irodori became 29 years old and Keitenkai reached his 31st birthday, both on the same day in fact. Day 5 of the basho additionally saw Takaryu celebrating, he too is now 29 years of age.

A whole lot of these guys were last seen in juryo in a Haru basho exactly X years ago, namely: Asagyokusei (1), Tomokaze (1), Daiseido (2), Amakaze (3), Masunoyama (6), and Sagatsukasa (7).

(It actually feels like it's been even longer for Amakaze...)

Somehow there are even more absences here than last basho, both of the Covid kind and otherwise. Ryuko, Kitaharima and Nionoumi have seen their stables banned from competition after attached oyakata tested positive. Injuries see the following rikishi missing: Freshly demoted Ikioi and Kotoyuki, as well as Asahisho (was Covid-absent last time - I assume he's injured?), Toyohibiki for the second straight basho, and yet again Masunoyama (left Hatsu after one match). In addition Kaonishiki and Kagamio were on the torikumi but didn't show for their first bout. Kagamio hasn't completed a tournament since last year's Haru basho now.

Conversely, in action again: Chiyoarashi after a January Covid kyujo, Abi returning from his three-and-a-half basho suspension, and Tomokaze back at last 16 months after his disastrous knee injury.
 

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
kyujo Ms1e Ikioi Isenoumi 34 1
kyujo Ms1w Kotoyuki Sadogatake 29 1
2-2 Ms2e Oho Otake 20 1
3-1 Ms2w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 3
kyujo (c) Ms4w Ryuko Onoe 22 1
kyujo (c) Ms5w Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 3
 
3-1 Ms7w Kaisho Asakayama 26 7
1-3 Ms8w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 6
2-2 Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 45
0-4 Ms11w Asabenkei Takasago 31 4
1-3 Ms13e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 5
 
3-1 Ms23w Oki Shikoroyama 24 3
 
3-1 Ms34e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 2
2-2 Ms37e Amakaze Oguruma 29 17
3-1 Ms42e Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 50
kyujo Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 22
kyujo (c) Ms43w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 45
1-3 Ms51w Daiseido Kise 28 11
4-0 Ms56w Abi Shikoroyama 26 2
 
2-2 Sd7e Higonojo Kise 36 40
kyujo Sd11w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 18
3-1 Sd12e Takaryu Kise 28 33
3-1 Sd18e Irodori Shikoroyama 28 6
1-3 Sd24w Dairaido Takadagawa 40 86
1-3 Sd50e Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 41
kyujo Sd54w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 35
2-2 Sd62e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 38
0-1-3 Sd75e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 56
4-0 Sd80e Fukushima Nishikido 24 13
 
0-1-3 Jd33w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 28
3-1 Jd55w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 5

 

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

4-0 Sd80e Fukushima Nishikido 24 13

Had to click him to know him...

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4 minutes ago, orandashoho said:

... so that is where Gokushindo went!

I know! Scandalous, right?... Oh, you mean the ranking...

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Day 9 (results, text-only results)

8-1 K1e Takayasu

7-2 Se Terunofuji, M9e Chiyonokuni

6-3 O1w Asanoyama, O2e Takakeisho, Sw Takanosho, M2e Hokutofuji, M8w Tobizaru, M13e Terutsuyoshi

With one yokozuna out again from the start and the other one soon sidelined as well, the focus entering the basho was once again on the three ozeki and the one ozeki-to-be. However, while Terunofuji has performed admirably as he is chasing the return to his former rank, the star of the first week has been the other sanyaku-ranked ex-ozeki, Takayasu. He is now the first sekitori to be kachikoshi after an impressive defeat of Onosho, and of course he's leading the makuuchi yusho race. Terunofuji does follow right behind, having only lost to, indeed, Takayasu and Onosho so far. Chiyonokuni, back on the dohyo after a ton of Covid-19 cases ruled Kokonoe-beya out of the January tournament, has picked up where he had left off with his strong top division return in November, and he is also in yusho contention for now. The group of three-loss rikishi was cut in half from 12 to 6 today.

None of the incumbent ozeki have fought in a hugely convincing manner to this point, but Asanoyama and Takakeisho do look credible enough at least on some days and their 6-3 records are arguably in line with their performances. Day 9 brought forth an important win over tricky opponent Mitakeumi for kadoban ozeki Takakeisho, and although the hard part of his schedule is yet to come with Takayasu and the sekiwake and ozeki, he should be a good bet to achieve the needed 8 wins now. His spot on the carousel looks to be taken up by Shodai for May, however, who has struggled to just 4 wins so far.

Defending champion Daieisho had a rough start to the basho, losing his first four matches, but he is back to more of the form that got him the championship two months ago, and he now stands at 4-5 with all sanyaku opponents completed. Will he actually produce another double-digit record from here? I wouldn't put it past him. Elsewhere in sanyaku youngish Takanosho quietly continues to impress, while Mitakeumi is having another meh tournament that makes it look as though his career window of opportunity has already passed.

With the sanyaku rankers doing good-not-great there's been some scope for decent early records by the maegashira-joi, and a trio comprising Hokutofuji, Wakatakakage and Meisei are currently on course towards kachikoshi having faced most of the titled ranks already. Whether there's going to be any space for even one of them is a whole different matter, though.

    2-1-6 Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     4-5  Shodai        O1   Asanoyama     6-3
     6-3  Takakeisho    O2   ---
     7-2  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-3
     8-1  Takayasu      K1   Mitakeumi     4-5
     ---                K2   Daieisho      4-5

(x)  1-8  Takarafuji    M1   Onosho        2-7
     6-3  Hokutofuji    M2   Wakatakakage  5-4
     5-4  Meisei        M3   Shimanoumi    2-7
     3-6  Kiribayama    M4   Myogiryu      5-4
     5-4  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      2-7  (x)
     5-4  Tamawashi     M6   Ichinojo      5-4
(x)  3-6  Tochinoshin   M7   Kagayaki      3-6  (x)
                        M8   Tobizaru      6-3
     7-2  Chiyonokuni   M9   Hoshoryu      5-4

Takakeisho-Takayasu is the Day 10 highlight match, although the sanyaku pairing of Asanoyama and Takanosho will also bear watching as only the winner will maintain a three-loss record to potentially still play a role in the yusho race.

__________________________________________________________________

With no majorly underperforming maegashira in the field this basho, the list of rikishi most in danger of demotion largely consists of those in the bottom three ranks who have to put up the most wins to avoid a trip to juryo. Leaving aside injured Kotoshoho, the "frontrunner" is last-ranked Daiamami requiring 4 wins across the final 6 days, but even he has fought well enough that he could well make it. Everybody else needs a 3-3 finish at best, so for now it's virtually impossible to make any projection about the likely number of slots opening up in the end.

That's just as well considering juryo isn't exactly brimming with top promotion contenders either; everybody down there also still needs at least 3 wins for a credible promotion record. The quality of Enho and Ishiura's performances so far did look easily good enough for them to make it if they can maintain that pace, so they're the prime candidates. Chiyomaru is also in the mix, but has appeared a bit out of sorts in his last two matches and may already be fading from the race.

The three rikishi demoted from the top division after January (Tokushoryu, Akua and Sadanoumi) are currently all on course to makekoshi.

(1)  3-6  Kotonowaka    M8
                        M9
(1)  4-5  Midorifuji    M10  Ryuden        4-5  (1)
(1)  4-5  Chiyotairyu   M11  Kotoshoho    0-3-5 (5)
(2)  4-5  Akiseyama     M12  Aoiyama       5-4  (1)
(o)  6-3  Terutsuyoshi  M13  Chiyoshoma    5-4  (1)
(2)  5-4  Kotoeko       M14  Tsurugisho    4-5  (3)
(3)  4-5  Yutakayama    M15  Hidenoumi     5-4  (2)
(3)  5-4  Kaisei        M16  Daiamami      4-5  (4)

(6)  2-7  Tokushoryu    J1   Akua          4-5  (4)
(3)  6-3  Ishiura       J2   Daishomaru    3-6  (6)
(3)  6-3  Chiyomaru     J3   Chiyonoo      5-4  (4)
(3)  7-2  Enho          J4   Sadanoumi     4-5  (6)
(6)  4-5  Churanoumi    J5   Kyokushuho    3-6  (~)
(5)  6-3  Wakamotoharu  J6
(5)  6-3  Ura           J7   Azumaryu      6-3  (5)
(x)  4-5  Kyokutaisei   J8
(x)  4-5  Mitoryu       J9   Hakuyozan     6-3  (6)
(x)  5-4  Takagenji     J10

__________________________________________________________________


The lower parts of juryo have seen some strange turnarounds since the early days of the basho. Veteran Jokoryu and newcomer Takakento started off the tournament 0-3 and 0-4 respectively and looked completely outclassed in the process, but suddenly turned into nearly unbeatable machines who have improved their records to 5-4 each. Conversely, Nishikigi spent the first few days looking good enough to have a great shot at ending his 5-MK slide down the rankings, before he turned into a makushita-bound pumpkin with five straight (and very bad) losses. Last not least, Yago has produced an even more extreme turnaround from 3-0 to 3-6.

The #1 candidate for demotion to the unpaid ranks is Tohakuryu, however. After a credible 8-7 debut in the second division last basho, nearly everything about his sumo has been bad this time around and the 1-8 makekoshi is sadly well-deserved. He'll need to shape up very quickly if he intends to avoid going back to makushita.

Unlike his fellow sekitori rookie Takakento, Bushozan doesn't have the benefit of a high entry rank for his first tournament, so he'll need to aim for kachikoshi immediately. He has done decently enough to this point with 5 wins, and just might manage to retain his spot in the end. Returned Nishikifuji and Ichiyamamoto have also been fighting well and might get another crack at juryo for May, too.

The makushita-joi denizens have already produced two kachikoshi at this early stage of the tournament, so perhaps there won't be any need to source promotion candidates from below the top 5 after all. Kotokuzan scored his fourth win up in juryo against Bushozan on Day 8 already, and the (as of about two weeks ago) 27-year-old Arashio-beya rikishi of Filipino descent finds himself in good stead for his long-awaited sekitori debut now. He did get pushed down to second place in the presumptive promotion queue for now after former maegashira Daishoho secured his KK today as well, defeating ex-juryo Kaisho.

A pair of 2-2 top makushita went opposite ways against their Ms6-ranked opponents on Day 9, with Oho losing to Roga and Tochimaru beating Murata. 1-3 Shohoryu was up in juryo with his back to the wall, but managed to avoid going makekoshi against Nishikigi. Last not least the day also saw the matchup of the two top 15-ranked undefeated wrestlers, won by highly regarded collegiate Tokisakae against his 20-year-old opponent Hiradoumi.

                        J5   Kyokushuho    3-6  (o)
                        J6   Chiyootori    3-6  (1)
                        J7
(1)  4-5  Kyokutaisei   J8   Shohozan      4-5  (1)
(1)  4-5  Mitoryu       J9
(1)  5-4  Takagenji     J10  Yago          3-6  (3)
(5)  1-8  Tohakuryu     J11  Takakento     5-4  (1)
(3)  4-5  Chiyonoumi    J12  Nishikifuji   4-5  (3)
(2)  5-4  Jokoryu       J13  Nishikigi     3-6  (4)
(3)  5-4  Bushozan      J14  Ichiyamamoto  6-3  (2)

                        Ms1
     2-3  Oho           Ms2  Daishoho      4-1
     4-1  Kotokuzan     Ms3  Shohoryu      2-3
     3-2  Tochimaru     Ms4
                        Ms5
     3-2  Roga          Ms6  Murata        2-3
                        Ms7  Kaisho        3-2
                        ...
                        Ms10 Nakazono      3-1
     3-1  Shiba         Ms11
                        Ms12 Hiradoumi     4-1
                        ...
     5-0  Tokisakae     Ms15

__________________________________________________________________

Juryo yusho race through Day 9:

7-2 J4e Enho

6-3 J2e Ishiura, J3e Chiyomaru, J6e Wakamotoharu, J7e Ura, J7w Azumaryu, J9w Hakuyozan, J14w Ichiyamamoto

5-4 J3w Chiyonoo, J10e Takagenji, J11w Takakento, J13e Jokoryu, J14e Bushozan

The three leading juryo rikishi went their separate ways on Day 9, with Enho winning, Chiyomaru losing, and Ura going kyujo. The pursuers mostly won (5 out of 7), and so the group chasing down Enho continues to be quite large. The 4-loss bracket was decimated significantly, however; only 3 of 9 rikishi were able to win here, so the field of contenders is now down to a more manageable 13 names.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Day 10 (results, text-only results)

9-1 K1e Takayasu

8-2 ---

7-3 O1w Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M8w Tobizaru, M9e Chiyonokuni

What a match between Takayasu and Takakeisho! The yusho leader took everything the ozeki was ready to throw at him (quite literally with some of those wind-up slaps...), and then methodically tired him out until an opening to win presented itself with Takakeisho's ill-advised leg trip attempt. Main pursuer Terunofuji found no way to dispatch of nine-lives Shimanoumi, who got himself acquainted with nearly every part of the tawara en route to his victory today, and Chiyonokuni's sumo was oddly ineffective against Okinoumi, so it's suddenly a two-win lead for the komusubi. It's only the fourth time ever that a 9-1 record comes with such a gap to the field.

We're in rather unusual times these days competition-wise, but I suppose the smart bet is to expect a Takayasu yusho now anyway. His case is helped along by the lesser pursuers dropping off like flies as well; today's action brought just two wins for the six rikishi who entered the day with 6-3 records. Two of those 6-3's were in fact matched up in sanyaku, where ozeki Asanoyama easily prevailed over sekiwake Takanosho.

Fellow ozeki Shodai levelled his score to 5-5 against Myogiryu, but it was hardly convincing sumo. Komusubi duo Mitakeumi and Daieisho are also 5-5 after defeating Onosho and Hokutofuji, respectively, and the likelihood of all lower sanyaku finishing kachikoshi increased by quite a bit today. Bad news for the Hokutofuji/Wakatakakage/Meisei trio who all continue to challenge for KKs of their own at 6-4. The latter two are gunning for their first-ever joi-jin kachikoshi anyway, so perhaps it's best to see a potential sanyaku debut as just the cherry on top for now. Today, Wakatakakage demonstrated smart sumo against underperforming Takarafuji for a quick win, while Meisei had the day off courtesy of Endo's injury withdrawal.

    2-1-7 Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     5-5  Shodai        O1   Asanoyama     7-3
     6-4  Takakeisho    O2   ---
     7-3  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-4
     9-1  Takayasu      K1   Mitakeumi     5-5
     ---                K2   Daieisho      5-5

                        M1   Onosho        2-8  (x)
     6-4  Hokutofuji    M2   Wakatakakage  6-4
     6-4  Meisei        M3   Shimanoumi    3-7
     4-6  Kiribayama    M4   Myogiryu      5-5
(x)  5-5  Endo          M5
     5-5  Tamawashi     M6   Ichinojo      6-4
                        M7
                        M8   Tobizaru      7-3
     7-3  Chiyonokuni   M9   Hoshoryu      6-4

Takayasu's next challenger is struggling ozeki Shodai; after that only sekiwake Takanosho and three maegashira remain in his path. However, Shodai has won their last 7 encounters, going back to the days when Takayasu was still ozeki himself. In other high-ranker scheduling news Day 11 will also see the sekiwake duel between Terunofuji and Takanosho. Somewhat incredibly Takanosho leads that matchup 4-0, although two of those wins date back to 2018 when Terunofuji's fall from grace took him through juryo. Ozeki Asanoyama's remaining chances for the yusho will be on the line against Myogiryu, who has completed an unfortunate turnaround from 5-0 to 5-5 in recent days.

__________________________________________________________________

His Haru performance isn't hugely interesting in terms of this thread, but I want to lead with a shout-out to ageless wonder Akiseyama for his deft handling of former ozeki Tochinoshin today. Only one more win to secure another makuuchi appearance in May. Fellow heavyweights Chiyotairyu and Aoiyama are one step ahead of that and have already done enough to re-appear in the top division next time. Chiyotairyu used plan B from his playbook today, the "stop the aite's charge and pull immediately" approach, to defeat Kagayaki, while Aoiyama won with strong forward-moving sumo against Kotoeko.

Speaking of whom, Kotoeko appears to have gone through one of his periodic Jekyll and Hyde transformations again, looking completely hapless since nakabi after an excellent first seven days had produced a deserved 5-2 record. Considering how bad his losing streaks have occasionally got in the past, juryo may actually beckon him if he doesn't flip the switch again soon. His injured stablemate Kotoshoho does not appear on the Day 11 torikumi and with 11 combined losses and absences he is now headed to juryo both numerically and factually, opening up the first promotion slot.

Day 10 was a good day for the basho's three promotees from juryo, as Tsurugisho, Hidenoumi and Daiamami were all victorious. Hidenoumi in particular might only be one win away from earning himself back-to-back top division appearances for the first time since 2016.

The day's visitor to makuuchi from juryo was energetic Ishiura who surprised a resurgent (compared to his 1-5 start anyway) Yutakayama for his 7th win. The promotion race was heated up somewhat courtesy of victories for outside contenders Akua and Chiyonoo, alongside Chiyomaru who fought convincingly again after two highly sub-par days. Enho's chances took a hit for now after he was flattened unceremoniously by low-ranked Chiyonoumi.

(1)  3-7  Kotonowaka    M8
                        M9
(1)  4-6  Midorifuji    M10  Ryuden        4-6  (1)
(o)  5-5  Chiyotairyu   M11  Kotoshoho    0-3-7 (x)
(1)  5-5  Akiseyama     M12  Aoiyama       6-4  (o)
                        M13  Chiyoshoma    5-5  (1)
(2)  5-5  Kotoeko       M14  Tsurugisho    5-5  (2)
(3)  4-6  Yutakayama    M15  Hidenoumi     6-4  (1)
(3)  5-5  Kaisei        M16  Daiamami      5-5  (3)

(x)  2-8  Tokushoryu    J1   Akua          5-5  (3)
(2)  7-3  Ishiura       J2   Daishomaru    3-7  (~)
(2)  7-3  Chiyomaru     J3   Chiyonoo      6-4  (3)
(3)  7-3  Enho          J4   Sadanoumi     5-5  (5)
(~)  4-6  Churanoumi    J5   Kyokushuho    4-6  (~)
(5)  6-4  Wakamotoharu  J6
(5) 6-3-1 Ura           J7   Azumaryu      6-4  (5)
                        J8
                        J9   Hakuyozan     7-3  (5)

Ura is returning to action after two days off.

__________________________________________________________________


The deck-clearing commenced in earnest in low juryo today, with no less than four rikishi escaping the threat of demotion; Chiyootori, Shohozan, Kyokutaisei and Takagenji can all engage KK-hunting mode now having achieved their primary objective. I'm rooting for Shohozan who is 7 basho removed from his last kachikoshi experience.

Top demotion candidate Tohakuryu finally won again after 7 straight losses, although this messy defeat of Takakento was hardly what one would have to consider a strong sign of a turnaround. All in all it wasn't a great day for the last 9 men on the banzuke where - despite no other direct matchups - Tohakuryu was joined only by Nishikigi on the winning side of the day's events. Nishikigi ended a 5-day slide of his own with that. If you like good old-fashioned yotsu action, his surprisingly interesting match with Mitoryu is a recommendation here.

That only leaves poor Yago as a holder of a lengthy losing streak after his got extended to seven days against Chiyootori. It might be makushita time again after two tournaments... There's certainly no shortage of at-risk rikishi, however, with five guys requiring a 3-2 or better finish to avoid demotion now.

Only one bit of Day 11 activity in the makushita promotion "zone" (more like vaguely outlined area this time), with Shiba defeating Nakazono in a meeting of low-ranked hopefuls for a 6-1 record.

                        J6   Chiyootori    4-6  (o)
                        J7
(o)  5-5  Kyokutaisei   J8   Shohozan      5-5  (o)
(1)  4-6  Mitoryu       J9
(o)  6-4  Takagenji     J10  Yago          3-7  (3)
(4)  2-8  Tohakuryu     J11  Takakento     5-5  (1)
(2)  5-5  Chiyonoumi    J12  Nishikifuji   4-6  (3)
(2)  5-5  Jokoryu       J13  Nishikigi     4-6  (3)
(3)  5-5  Bushozan      J14  Ichiyamamoto  6-4  (2)

                        Ms1
     2-3  Oho           Ms2  Daishoho      4-1
     4-1  Kotokuzan     Ms3  Shohoryu      2-3
     3-2  Tochimaru     Ms4
                        Ms5
     3-2  Roga          Ms6  Murata        2-3
                        Ms7  Kaisho        3-2
                        ...
                        Ms10 Nakazono      3-2  (x)
     4-1  Shiba         Ms11
                        Ms12 Hiradoumi     4-1
                        ...
     5-0  Tokisakae     Ms15

With Endo out and Ura back in we continue without makushita visits to juryo for the time being. As is customary on the first day of a two-day "block", there will be plenty of action here in high makushita and Day 11 will see four direct matchups that should get us a bit closer to clarity in the promotion picture. Most importantly, Oho and Shohoryu are meeting to decide which one of them is definitely not going to juryo for May. Daishoho and Kotokuzan already met on shonichi, so they're facing the lower-ranked 4-1 pair of Shiba and Hiradoumi. And lastly, Tochimaru and Roga are also paired up.

Tokisakae's hopes for the second Ms15 promotion in four months will be challenged by fellow unbeaten Ms33e Tanabe, but even if he gets through that there's of course - most likely, at least - still Abi waiting for him two days later. Doesn't happen too often that the highest-ranked 5-0 rikishi is far from the conventional-wisdom favourite for the yusho.

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Juryo yusho race through Day 10:

7-3 J2e Ishiura, J3e Chiyomaru, J4e Enho, J9w Hakuyozan

6-4 J3w Chiyonoo, J6e Wakamotoharu, J7e Ura (6-3-1), J7w Azumaryu, J10e Takagenji, J14w Ichiyamamoto

5-5 (8 more rikishi who will need to get an actual KK-trending record before getting named again)

Other than the disconcerting lack of contenders from the double-digit ranks, this is now a "very juryo" juryo yusho race. Enho's rather one-sided loss to Chiyonoumi opened up the door for his pursuers, and three managed to step through. In fact a quartet of them were paired up with Hakuyozan and Chiyomaru both defeating their opponents Ichiyamamoto and Wakamotoharu in convincing fashion. They were joined by Ishiura courtesy of his shiroboshi up in makuuchi action, while Azumaryu missed out on the yusho-leading bonanza with a loss to Chiyonoo.

Up for Day 11:

J13e Jokoryu (5-5)    -  J9w  Hakuyozan (7-3)
J4e  Enho (7-3)       -  J4w  Sadanoumi (5-5)
J3e  Chiyomaru (7-3)  -  J7e  Ura (6-3-1)
J2e  Ishiura (7-3)    -  J6e  Wakamotoharu (6-4)

J10e Takagenji (6-4)  -  J12e Chiyonoumi (5-5)
J9e  Mitoryu (4-6)    -  J14w Ichiyamamoto (6-4)
J14e Bushozan (5-5)   -  J7w  Azumaryu (6-4)
J8w  Shohozan (5-5)   -  J3w  Chiyonoo (6-4)


Lower division yusho races (Day 9 results, video links to be added tomorrow):

4-1 Ms12w Hiradoumi (Sakaigawa)
5-0 Ms15e Tokisakae (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Ms30w Kotoozutsu (Sadogatake)
5-0 Ms33e Tanabe (Kise)
4-1 Ms39e Tennozan (Onomatsu)
5-0 Ms56w Abi (Shikoroyama)

4-1 Sd6w Seigo (Shikoroyama)
5-0 Sd8w Tokunomusashi (Musashigawa)
4-1 Sd14w Dewanoryu (Dewanoumi)
5-0 Sd26e Dainichido (Michinoku)
4-1 Sd39w Horyuyama (Tamanoi)
5-0 Sd45w Komanokuni (Shibatayama)
4-1 Sd58e Kotorikisen (Sadogatake)
5-0 Sd68w Osuzuki (Naruto)
4-1 Sd76w Iko (Tamanoi)
5-0 Sd80e Fukushima (Nishikido)
4-1 Sd90e Hatooka (Kise)
5-0 Sd100Td Nishikawa (Sakaigawa)

5-0 Jd8w Mutsukaze (Oguruma)
4-1 Jd15e Hokutoyoshi (Hakkaku)
5-0 Jd22w Ryuki (Michinoku)
4-1 Jd23w Kiritsubasa (Michinoku)
4-1 Jd41w Chiyotaiyo (Kokonoe)
5-0 Jd48w Atamifuji (Isegahama)
5-0 Jd64e Bushi (Musashigawa)
4-1 Jd69e Shunpo (Minezaki)
5-0 Jd79w Chiyoyamato (Kokonoe)
4-1 Jd93w Chiyotaisei (Kokonoe)
4-1 Jd102w Takemaru (Miyagino)

5-0 Jk1w Etsunohana (Tatsunami)
4-1 Jk9w Kakutaiki (Michinoku)
5-0 Jk21w Murayama (Naruto)

Huh, every single contender matchup in makushita and sandanme was won by the lower-ranked rikishi. The three remaining yusho candidates in makushita couldn't have come by their wins in more different fashion: Abi dominated his opponent Tennozan from start to finish, Tanabe won against Kotoozutsu in about one second, and Tokisakae had to endure a lengthy onslaught from Hiradoumi before he finally turned the tables. Not to get too far ahead of things here, but...26-year-old ex-collegiate Tanabe has yet to break out of mid-makushita after four years, so I'm hoping that somewhat more promising Tokisakae will be the one to challenge Abi for the yusho on Day 13.

Standing in Abi's way for now, however, is tall Musashigawa youngster Tokunomusashi, who dispatched Abi's stablemate Seigo. Sandanme is likely to lose one of its contenders outside the division here, and while their bottom-ranked 5-0 is also paired up with a non-sandanme opponent, I suppose the probability of Nishikawa staying in the race is a lot higher. The lowest-ranked from jonidan was already taken out by his jonokuchi aite in this round, so the largest division has only 5 contenders remaining now, while jonokuchi continues with 2.

Atamifuji is getting the full star treatment by Abema with tracking camera shots pre- and post-match, and it would indeed appear that he's the presumptive favourite for the jonidan title - if the schedule doesn't work out such that he ends up having to have his final matchup against Nishikawa. (Although I wouldn't even put it past him to win that if it happens...) The sandanme race looks like it's a rather more open-ended affair with Nishikawa, Fukushima and perhaps Osuzuki all looking like they could win this thing. For jonokuchi I'm inclined to bet on 29-year-old former high sandanme Etsunohana (who hasn't completed back-to-back tournaments since late 2019), rather than high school newcomer Murayama, but who knows.

No surprises in the Day 11 pairings, in any case, after the previous round eliminated all cases of heya double representation in the respective races (Tamanoi in sandanme, Michinoku and Kokonoe in jonidan).

Edited by Asashosakari
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The ex-sekitori through Day 10.

new KK: Daishoho, Irodori, Tomokaze

new MK: Asagyokusei, Dairaido, Sagatsukasa
 

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
kyujo Ms1e Ikioi Isenoumi 34 1
kyujo Ms1w Kotoyuki Sadogatake 29 1
2-3 Ms2e Oho Otake 20 1
4-1 Ms2w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 3
kyujo (c) Ms4w Ryuko Onoe 22 1
kyujo (c) Ms5w Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 3
 
3-2 Ms7w Kaisho Asakayama 26 7
2-3 Ms8w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 6
2-3 Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 45
0-5 Ms11w Asabenkei Takasago 31 4
1-4 Ms13e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 5
 
4-1 Ms23w Oki Shikoroyama 24 3
 
3-2 Ms34e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 2
3-2 Ms37e Amakaze Oguruma 29 17
3-2 Ms42e Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 50
kyujo Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 22
kyujo (c) Ms43w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 45
2-3 Ms51w Daiseido Kise 28 11
5-0 Ms56w Abi Shikoroyama 26 2
 
3-2 Sd7e Higonojo Kise 36 40
kyujo Sd11w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 18
3-2 Sd12e Takaryu Kise 28 33
4-1 Sd18e Irodori Shikoroyama 28 6
1-4 Sd24w Dairaido Takadagawa 40 86
1-4 Sd50e Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 41
kyujo Sd54w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 35
3-2 Sd62e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 38
0-1-4 Sd75e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 56
5-0 Sd80e Fukushima Nishikido 24 13
 
0-1-4 Jd33w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 28
4-1 Jd55w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 5

 

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Is this a new phenomenon to have so many 36+ years-old Ex-Sekitori down in Sandanme, or have there always been?

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Looking forward to Asashosakari's Day 11 update as the big news form today will shift all the boundaries down by one spot.

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Day 11 (results, text-only results)

9-2 K1e Takayasu

8-3 O1w Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M8w Tobizaru

7-4 O2e Takakeisho, M2e Hokutofuji, M2w Wakatakakage, M3e Meisei, M9e Chiyonokuni, M9w Hoshoryu, M12w Aoiyama, M15w Hidenoumi

Showing that his dominant record over Takayasu has been no fluke, ozeki Shodai has made the yusho race quite a bit more suspenseful again with what might have been his best sumo of the tournament. With his record improved to 6-5 he also stands in a much more decent position to avoid going kadoban now. Fellow ozeki Takakeisho is one win away from shedding his own kadoban tag after he dismantled feisty Kiribayama with his trademark sumo, while Asanoyama easily prevailed over Myogiryu to collect his early kachikoshi - and reassert himself in the yusho race, now just one win behind the leader.

In fact three of Takayasu's four pursuers were victorious on Day 11, so it's suddenly a rather crowded field of contenders again. Ozeki hopeful Terunofuji decided to mix things up with an almost HNH-like inashi after the initial charge and quickly defeated the other sekiwake Takanosho afterwards, while Tobizaru narrowly won a seesaw battle against Kotoeko. Just Chiyonokuni wasn't able to move up to 8-3 today, defeated by opponent Daiamami and his own subpar footwork today.

Things are even more crowded in the yusho arasoi at 7-4, after 7 of 10 rikishi on 4 losses were victorious. (Unlikely as it may be that the yusho score drops below 12-3.) That 7-4 group includes all three high-performing maegashira Hokutofuji, Wakatakakage and Meisei, and with four days to go it's now starting to look very likely that we're headed to a serious crunch in that area of the banzuke. Komusubi Mitakeumi dropped to 5-6 with a loss to Hokutofuji, and perhaps a combination of a makekoshi for him alongside a Terunofuji promotion to ozeki may open up at least one slot in the end. We do know that the next sanyaku will be missing at least one of its current names after yokozuna Kakuryu unexpectedly announced his retirement during the day, but that is unlikely to result in the adding of any lower sanyaku spots, given the banzuke committee's usual habits.

Of course both 6-5 sekiwake Takanosho and 6-5 komusubi Daieisho aren't out of the woods yet, but considering their overall performance this basho it would be a surprise to see either of them not doing enough to retain a spot in the titled ranks.

    2-1-8 Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu     0-0-10-i
     6-5  Shodai        O1   Asanoyama     8-3
     7-4  Takakeisho    O2   ---
     8-3  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-5
     9-2  Takayasu      K1   Mitakeumi     5-6
     ---                K2   Daieisho      6-5

                        M1
     7-4  Hokutofuji    M2   Wakatakakage  7-4
     7-4  Meisei        M3   Shimanoumi    3-8  (x)
(x)  4-7  Kiribayama    M4   Myogiryu      5-6
                        M5
(x)  5-6  Tamawashi     M6   Ichinojo      6-5
                        M7
                        M8   Tobizaru      8-3
     7-4  Chiyonokuni   M9   Hoshoryu      7-4

Hokutofuji is leader Takayasu's next challenger, and that's no foregone conclusion either: Their H2H record was just 4-3 in Takayasu's favour while he was ozeki, and they are 2-2 since. Among the pursuers Asanoyama has to contend with Mitakeumi (H2H 3-6, uh-oh), Terunofuji goes against Tamawashi, and Tobizaru gets shuffled up into the joi bouts against Meisei.

__________________________________________________________________

Kakuryu's intai will of course open up an additional slot both in the maegashira and the juryo ranks. The M16w slot is now set to continue to exist even if Terunofuji gets promoted to ozeki (barring additional lower sanyaku spots being added somehow, of course), and the likelihood of low maegashira surviving with borderline demotable records is probably quite high. That being said, the race continues to turn more high-quality on the juryo side with contenders Akua, Ishiura, Chiyomaru and Enho all victorious on Day 11.

Nevertheless at least Ryuden and Hidenoumi should be safe after defeats of Kotonowaka and Chiyoshoma, and Hidenoumi even has four days now to collect his very first top division KK at the 7th time of asking. M16-ranked heavyweight duo Kaisei and Daiamami showed good sumo against Terutsuyoshi and Chiyonokuni to improve their records to 6-5 each, putting the finish line in sight with 2-2 scores across the last four days. That only leaves Yutakayama as a main candidate for demotion right now - his sumo hasn't been bad the last few days, but the 1-5 start (when it was bad) continues to weigh him down.

Kotoeko looked more awake again but wasn't quite able to pull off the win against Tobizaru, so it's a four-day losing streak for him, and ditto for Chiyoshoma. In a reversal of Yutakayama's case they're still benefitting from their 5-2 starts, so they're not all that far away from safe ground.

(1)  3-8  Kotonowaka    M8
                        M9
(1)  4-7  Midorifuji    M10  Ryuden        5-6  (o)
                        M11  Kotoshoho    0-3-8 (x)
(1)  5-6  Akiseyama     M12
                        M13  Chiyoshoma    5-6  (1)
(2)  5-6  Kotoeko       M14  Tsurugisho    6-5  (1)
(3)  4-7  Yutakayama    M15  Hidenoumi     7-4  (o)
(2)  6-5  Kaisei        M16  Daiamami      6-5  (2)

                        J1   Akua          6-5  (2)
(1)  8-3  Ishiura       J2   Daishomaru    3-8  (x)
(1)  8-3  Chiyomaru     J3   Chiyonoo      6-5  (3)
(2)  8-3  Enho          J4   Sadanoumi     5-6  (~)
(x)  4-7  Churanoumi    J5   Kyokushuho    4-7  (x)
(~)  6-5  Wakamotoharu  J6
(~) 6-4-1 Ura           J7   Azumaryu      7-4  (4)
                        J8
                        J9   Hakuyozan     7-4  (~)

Kotoshoho returns to action after 9 days off, but even an unlikely four-day winning streak almost certainly won't save him here. We'll see if returning has been a good idea at all.

__________________________________________________________________


Sekitori newcomer Takakento struggled hard in the early going, but has really got into the groove since his 0-4 start, and now 6-5 after defeating Churanoumi he can look forward to another crack at juryo in May. Quite possibly from an even higher rank, of course, with KK well in range now. Fellow rookie Bushozan lost (to Azumaryu) for the second straight day, however, and has a lot more work to do at 5-6 on the bottom rank of the division.

Yago's slide has reached 8 days and he is now makekoshi after losing to Nishikigi, and it's hard to see how he's going to pull off the necessary 3-1 finish to avoid a demotable record. Perhaps 2-2 will do it given Kakuryu's retirement and the relative lack of candidates pushing up from makushita. Two other majorly endangered rikishi were matched up for Day 11, and Tohakuryu produced what was almost definitely his best bout of the basho in defeating Nishikifuji. Both also stand 3 wins away from their May/June salary.

Makushita-joi was in action as well, and saw Daishoho announce himself as an almost certain promotee with his 5th win over low-ranked Shiba. He's not yet guaranteed to go up, however, as only one slot is available so far (via Kakuryu) and the nominal frontrunner remains Tokisakae as a potential zensho promotion after he beat Tanabe to remain undefeated. The other already-KK joi member Kotokuzan wasn't able to pull off win #5 against Hiradoumi, and his promotion case suddenly looks a lot more questionable with potentially as many as four other contenders able to finish ahead of him if he doesn't win his last match. These include Tochimaru, now kachikoshi himself after he prevailed over Roga, and last basho's sekitori Oho who won the MK avoidance battle against yumitori Shohoryu.

(1)  4-7  Mitoryu       J9
                        J10  Yago          3-8  (3)
(3)  3-8  Tohakuryu     J11  Takakento     6-5  (o)
(2)  5-6  Chiyonoumi    J12  Nishikifuji   4-7  (3)
(1)  6-5  Jokoryu       J13  Nishikigi     5-6  (2)
(3)  5-6  Bushozan      J14  Ichiyamamoto  7-4  (1)

                        Ms1
     3-3  Oho           Ms2  Daishoho      5-1
     4-2  Kotokuzan     Ms3  Shohoryu      2-4  (x)
     4-2  Tochimaru     Ms4
                        Ms5
     3-3  Roga          Ms6  Murata        3-3
                        Ms7  Kaisho        4-2
                        ...
(x)  4-2  Shiba         Ms11
                        Ms12 Hiradoumi     5-1
                        ...
     6-0  Tokisakae     Ms15

And just like that we're back to needing makushita rikishi filling in on the juryo schedule after maegashira Kotoshoho's return. Tochimaru gets the first call-up, against Jokoryu.

__________________________________________________________________

Juryo yusho race through Day 11:

8-3 J2e Ishiura, J3e Chiyomaru, J4e Enho

7-4 J7w Azumaryu, J9w Hakuyozan, J10e Takagenji, J14w Ichiyamamoto

6-5 J1w Akua, J3w Chiyonoo, J6e Wakamotoharu, J7e Ura (6-4-1), J8e Kyokutaisei, J8w Shohozan, J11w Takakento, J13e Jokoryu

A good day for the leaders (3-1), a middling one for the pursuers (3-3). I'm putting my virtual money on 11-4 as the yusho score now; the leading trio all look good enough that it's unlikely that all of them will finish the basho 2-2 or worse, but I would also be surprised if any of them pull off a 4-0 from here.

The Day 12 slate:

J4e  Enho (8-3)        -  J12w Nishikifuji (4-7)
J3e  Chiyomaru (8-3)   -  J8w  Shohozan (6-5)
J2e  Ishiura (8-3)     -  J8e  Kyokutaisei (6-5)

J10e Takagenji (7-4)   -  J14w Ichiyamamoto (7-4)
J13w Nishikigi (5-6)   -  J9w  Hakuyozan (7-4)
J1e  Tokushoryu (3-8)  -  J7w  Azumaryu (7-4)

Edited by Asashosakari
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Here's hoping that Bushozan gets to luck out with a 14e -> 14w demotion if he finishes with a 7-8. On performance alone, he deserves another chance to assert himself in juryo.

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1 minute ago, Koorifuu said:

Here's hoping that Bushozan gets to luck out with a 14e -> 14w demotion if he finishes with a 7-8. On performance alone, he deserves another chance to assert himself in juryo.

Isn't 7-8 based on performance alone?
 

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7 minutes ago, Gernobono said:

Isn't 7-8 based on performance alone?

Numbers never tell the whole story. That’s why Ozeki and Yokozuna promotion discussion almost always talks about the quality of the sumo as much as the numerical value of the results. A debutant in Makuuchi might end up with a losing record but be praised for his fighting spirit. That’s what Koorifuu means by performance. Even day to day on this forum we talk about close bouts and great efforts made by rikishi in defeat. I doubt I’m saying anything you don’t already know though. Someone has to lose in sumo—it doesn’t mean the loser was easily beaten.

Edited by Eikokurai
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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:
1 hour ago, Gernobono said:

Isn't 7-8 based on performance alone?

Numbers never tell the whole story. That’s why Ozeki and Yokozuna promotion discussion almost always talks about the quality of the sumo as much as the numerical value of the results. A debutant in Makuuchi might end up with a losing record but be praised for his fighting spirit. That’s what Koorifuu means by performance. Even day to day on this forum we talk about close bouts and great efforts made by rikishi in defeat. I doubt I’m saying anything you don’t already know though. Someone has to lose in sumo—it doesn’t mean the loser was easily beaten.

To put it another way, if you quantify rikishi effort as a zero-sum 100, your 7 losses could have been 51-49 against you, while your wins could have been 100-0. So even though you lost, you'd be looking very unlucky to have ended up with a MK overall.

Hokutofuji is a pretty good example. Fights like mad, but ends up with an MK half the time.

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Day 12 (results, text-only results)

10-2 K1e Takayasu

9-3 O1w Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji

8-4 O2e Takakeisho, M2w Wakatakakage, M3e Meisei, M8w Tobizaru, M9e Chiyonokuni, M12w Aoiyama, M15w Hidenoumi

A great recovery for the leader from yesterday's disappointment. Takayasu handled tricky aite Hokutofuji with his brand of controlled aggression to score a relatively quick victory and retain his spot atop the yusho race, now with double digits. Not to be outdone, his two sanyaku-ranked pursuers Asanoyama and Terunofuji kept themselves on track as well, although the ozeki had the much easier time of it against Mitakeumi than did the would-be ozeki against Tamawashi.

I'm actually starting to wonder how Terunofuji's sumo is being judged on the inside - the fan consensus seems to be along the lines of "he keeps winning from disadvantageous positions: like a boss!", but that only goes so far to compensate for the fact that he keeps getting put into these situations by his opponents to begin with. Terunofuji's got the three incumbent ozeki coming up now, and will need to beat at least one as the bare minimum to open up promotion talk. Somehow I suspect that going 1-2 with bad sumo won't cut it here. 1-2 with good sumo might, and with 2 wins his case would certainly be too compelling to reject, regardless of the optics. In any case, it's definitely far from a done deal at this stage, considering all three ozeki have come into some form as the basho has progressed. (But of course, there's been Terunofuji's utter dominance over Asanoyama...)

Leaving all that aside, Day 11 was the second straight day with all three ozeki winning. Takakeisho has now successfully unkadobaned himself after a relentless pursuit of Okinoumi until he was finally out of the dohyo, and Shodai stands just one win away from kachikoshi as well with a solid victory over sekiwake Takanosho. It was in fact not a great day for the West-ranked trio of lower sanyaku wrestlers; Daieisho wasn't much more "in" his bout against Wakatakakage than Takanosho and Mitakeumi were in theirs, so those were three deserved losses today. I'd still expect at least two of them to manage to retain sanyaku slots for May, but it all looks a bit more precarious now than it did 24 hours ago. Takanosho in particular may end up finding himself under an intense spotlight as the presumptive final opponent for Takayasu.

The enterprising trio of high maegashira came up with two shiroboshi today, so Meisei and Wakatakakage are now already kachikoshi. Both looked very good against their respective opponents Tobizaru and Daieisho. (Tobizaru almost certainly departed the yusho race with that loss, too.) Hokutofuji of course had to contend against leading Takayasu and wasn't able to come through.

    2-1-9 Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu     0-0-10-i
     7-5  Shodai        O1   Asanoyama     9-3
     8-4  Takakeisho    O2   ---
     9-3  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-6
    10-2  Takayasu      K1   Mitakeumi     5-7
     ---                K2   Daieisho      6-6

                        M1
     7-5  Hokutofuji    M2   Wakatakakage  8-4
     8-4  Meisei        M3
                        M4   Myogiryu      5-7  (x)
                        M5
                        M6   Ichinojo      7-5
                        M7
                        M8   Tobizaru      8-4
     8-4  Chiyonokuni   M9   Hoshoryu      7-5  (x)

The silver lining for Hokutofuji is that he is now done facing sanyaku and will meet relatively lowly Ichinojo tomorrow. The other two will be facing their last titled opponents, Meisei going against Daieisho and Wakatakakage challenging Takayasu. Third komusubi Mitakeumi has his back to the wall now - the good news is that his road to 8-7 starts with Tamawashi, against whom he holds a 22-3 H2H advantage. And at the end of the day the two yusho pursuers will attempt to either stay in touch with Takayasu or, should he have lost, to join the lead. It's time for the customary top 4 roundrobin, starting off with Takakeisho-Asanoyama and Shodai-Terunofuji.

__________________________________________________________________

Kotoeko's improved (if still losing) performance yesterday appears to have been a harbinger of a return to his good form of the first week, as he was very much in control of today's opening bout against big Kaisei and deservedly collected his 6th win. That might already be enough to stay in makuuchi, one more will make sure of it. Already certain to get another crack at the top division are Akiseyama and Tsurugisho after today, as is struggling Kotonowaka who finally completed an undemotable record all the way up at M8.

Meanwhile, Yutakayama's run of decent sumo and no results continued for a third day, this time against Ryuden. He is now makekoshi and the only one in need of a 3-0 finish to the basho. Given his specific rank that's probably not just a by-the-numbers 3-0 either; 6-9 as the final record is unlikely to cut it. Both M16 are in relatively great danger as well needing two more wins after today's losses, Kaisei to Kotoeko as mentioned and Daiamami against Aoiyama.

On a side note, Hidenoumi achieved his kachikoshi today joining brother Tobizaru who got there yesterday. It's the first makuuchi double KK by brothers since Chiyomaru and Chiyootori did it most recently in Haru 2015.

And over in juryo we have our first "qualified" promotion candidate with, as it happens, Chiyomaru. (Chiyootori fell to MK today, however...) Fellow promotion- and yusho-chasing Ishiura and Enho were both defeated by the day's aite Kyokutaisei and Nishikifuji, so they've got some work left to do. Akua is on a mini-roll with three straight wins and has built himself into a credible promotion challenger by now as well, just one more victory away from KK and an almost certain return to makuuchi. I didn't really see that coming. Chiyonoo continues to be technically in the race, but today's defeat against Tsurugisho in makuuchi has made it very hard for him.

(o)  4-8  Kotonowaka    M8
                        M9
(1)  4-8  Midorifuji    M10
                        M11  Kotoshoho    1-3-8 (x)
(o)  6-6  Akiseyama     M12
                        M13  Chiyoshoma    5-7  (1)
(1)  6-6  Kotoeko       M14  Tsurugisho    7-5  (o)
(3)  4-8  Yutakayama    M15
(2)  6-6  Kaisei        M16  Daiamami      6-6  (2)

                        J1   Akua          7-5  (1)
(1)  8-4  Ishiura       J2
(o)  9-3  Chiyomaru     J3   Chiyonoo      6-6  (3)
(2)  8-4  Enho          J4   Sadanoumi     5-7  (x)
                        J5
(x)  6-6  Wakamotoharu  J6
(~) 7-4-1 Ura           J7   Azumaryu      7-5  (~)
                        J8
                        J9   Hakuyozan     8-4  (~)

In a somewhat unusual development we'll be seeing the sole juryo leader Chiyomaru up in makuuchi action tomorrow, where he meets Kotoeko. Other bouts of relatively large importance include Yutakayama trying to avoid demotion against Akiseyama (the latter won two months ago, their only other meeting was back in 2016), and a pairing of at-risk rikishi with Midorifuji going against Kaisei.

__________________________________________________________________


As nobody in lower juryo was on the chopping block entering Day 12, we still don't have any outright demotable rikishi for now, but poor Yago isn't far off now after consecutive loss #9, today against Bushozan. The victor can breathe a little more easy now, needing "only" to go 2-1 over the final days after this. Similarly endangered Tohakuryu and Nishikifuji were also able to help their cause with wins today and find themselves in the same situation for the home stretch. And we're not even done yet listing guys who need to win twice more: Chiyonoumi and Nishikigi were already there and weren't able to improve their lot on Day 12. The field of demotion candidates is rounded out by last-ranked Ichiyamamoto, also not victorious today but in by far the best position at 7-5.

The day's cross-divisional match between Tochimaru and Jokoryu had something of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the would-be effects of the makushita man's windmill tsuppari kept getting denied by the former komusubi. The bout settled into a more conventional slapfest after that and things ended in a pulldown victory for Jokoryu soon after. Not so great news for the 28-year-old Kasugano hopeful who will now finish no better than third in the promotion queue (and potentially as low as fifth), but there's still plenty of scope for slots to open up with the less than stellar performances by the low juryo crowd.

Jokoryu has saved his bacon with that win and he'll get a fourth straight juryo appearance in two months' time. In fact this will be the first time ever he gets to spend four consecutive tournaments in the second division - it's his 7th stint in juryo, but all others ended after at most three basho with either promotion to makuuchi or demotion to makushita. Ever-present Mitoryu is also finally safe after he defeated Takakento and so Natsu basho will be his anniversary 20th appearance in juryo, all of them in one uninterrupted go since he got promoted from makushita for Hatsu 2018.

(o)  5-7  Mitoryu       J9
                        J10  Yago          3-9  (3)
(2)  4-8  Tohakuryu     J11
(2)  5-7  Chiyonoumi    J12  Nishikifuji   5-7  (2)
(o)  7-5  Jokoryu       J13  Nishikigi     5-7  (2)
(2)  6-6  Bushozan      J14  Ichiyamamoto  7-5  (1)

                        Ms1
     3-3  Oho           Ms2  Daishoho      5-1
     4-2  Kotokuzan     Ms3
     4-3  Tochimaru     Ms4
                        Ms5
     3-3  Roga          Ms6  Murata        3-3
                        Ms7  Kaisho        4-2
                        ...
                        Ms12 Hiradoumi     5-1
                        ...
     6-0  Tokisakae     Ms15

We'll be able to anoint the first promotee of the basho tomorrow for sure - Tokisakae's yusho decider against back-from-suspension Abi will decide whether he or Daishoho gets to inherit the spot opened up by yokozuna Kakuryu's retirement. For everything else there's not just Mastercard but also the rest of the Day 13 torikumi: 3-3 Oho is up next in juryo action, for already his third time this basho; he faces Nishikifuji. Kotokuzan and Daishoho should follow for Days 14 and 15. Juryo also sees a rather cruel matchup between Tohakuryu and Nishikigi, the loser of which will have to win out on the weekend, and Yago's survival is at stake in the very last juryo match of the day against top-ranked Tokushoryu.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Juryo yusho race through Day 12:

9-3 J3e Chiyomaru

8-4 J2e Ishiura, J4e Enho, J9w Hakuyozan, J10e Takagenji

7-5 J1w Akua, J7e Ura (7-4-1), J7w Azumaryu, J8e Kyokutaisei, J13e Jokoryu, J14w Ichiyamamoto

Pretty clear losses for Ishiura and Enho today and so the door has been opened to what could be Chiyomaru's second juryo title. Still plenty of sumo to come, of course, and with four pursuers it's likely that somebody will step up should the leader falter. There's no shortage of 7-5 contenders should things really go haywire on top, but I'll stand by my 11-4 prediction.

Up for Day 13:

M14e Kotoeko (6-6)  -  J3e  Chiyomaru (9-3)

J4e  Enho (8-4)     -  J10e Takagenji (8-4)
J2e  Ishiura (8-4)  -  J9w  Hakuyozan (8-4)

That's certainly some decisive matchmaking... And it's not yet the end of the potential pairings among the top 5, by far: Ishiura-Takagenji, Chiyomaru-Takagenji, Chiyomaru-Hakuyozan and Enho-Hakuyozan are all still possible. (In other words, the rest of the "top 3 vs bottom 2" matchups after the two scheduled for tomorrow.)


Lower division yusho races (Day 11 results):

6-0 Ms15e Tokisakae (Tokitsukaze)
5-1 Ms33e Tanabe (Kise)
6-0 Ms56w Abi (Shikoroyama)

5-1 Sd8w Tokunomusashi (Musashigawa)
5-1 Sd26e Dainichido (Michinoku)
6-0 Sd45w Komanokuni (Shibatayama)
6-0 Sd68w Osuzuki (Naruto)
5-1 Sd80e Fukushima (Nishikido)
6-0 Sd100Td Nishikawa (Sakaigawa)

5-1 Jd8w Mutsukaze (Oguruma)
5-1 Jd22w Ryuki (Michinoku)
6-0 Jd48w Atamifuji (Isegahama)
5-1 Jd64e Bushi (Musashigawa)
6-0 Jd79w Chiyoyamato (Kokonoe)

5-1 Jk1w Etsunohana (Tatsunami)
6-0 Jk21w Murayama (Naruto)

Makushita has worked out as desired (by me anyway, but perhaps not just me), and I hope we're going to get an entertaining decider between Tokisakae and Abi. The latter obviously has to be rated the favourite, but I don't think it's so clear-cut that an upset would be completely out of the cards. Pretty easy win for Abi on Day 11 in any case, but of course that was just against a borderline makushita-quality opponent in Tokunomusashi. Tokisakae had to work somewhat harder against Tanabe, although he wasn't really in danger at any point.

The sandanme race saw a sweep by the West side, including Nishikawa's quick pushout victory over Mutsukaze from jonidan. Fukushima and Osuzuki spent more time on the doyho than all other 5-0 rikishi combined, with the end finally in favour of Naruto's Osuzuki. 30-year-old Komanokuni's sluggish sumo is not exactly to my liking, but there's no arguing with his results this basho, including his big splash flattening of Dainichido yesterday.

In jonidan, Chiyoyamato prevailed over Bushi after some back-and-forthy pushing, before Atamifuji made very short work of Ryuki. Jonokuchi saw Naruto-beya's newest rookie Murayama fling down his more experienced aite Etsunohana.

With eight undefeated rikishi remaining I was a bit afraid that they would just pair them up in order, splitting up the jonidan duo with one fighting in sandanme and the other against a jonokuchi opponent, but sanity prevailed and the yusho races have been augmented with 5-1 additions for both Sd and Jk instead. For fresh tsukedashi starter Nishikawa that means the presumably toughest opponent they could have sourced - it's former juryo Fukushima. However, given his clear lack of mobility post-injury it's hard to see past Nishikawa as the most likely winner anyway. He'll either face the winner of Komanokuni-Osuzuki in a playoff, or that match will be the straight yusho decider tomorrow.

Meanwhile, hell will have to get close to freezing over if Atamifuji is not going to bag the jonidan title tomorrow for his second straight championship. And finally, undefeated jonokuchi contender Murayama will go against 5-1 Jk4w Akiyama, a 20-year-old who has yet to go beyond lower-middle jonidan after two years and is in fact on a 5-win record for the first time ever.

Edited by Asashosakari
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The ex-sekitori through Day 12.

new KK: Kaisho, Fujiazuma, Amakaze, Keitenkai, Yoshiazuma

new MK: Sakigake
 

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
kyujo Ms1e Ikioi Isenoumi 34 1
kyujo Ms1w Kotoyuki Sadogatake 29 1
3-3 Ms2e Oho Otake 20 1
5-1 Ms2w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 3
kyujo (c) Ms4w Ryuko Onoe 22 1
kyujo (c) Ms5w Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 3
 
4-2 Ms7w Kaisho Asakayama 26 7
2-4 Ms8w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 6
3-3 Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 45
1-5 Ms11w Asabenkei Takasago 31 4
2-4 Ms13e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 5
 
5-1 Ms23w Oki Shikoroyama 24 3
 
4-2 Ms34e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 2
4-2 Ms37e Amakaze Oguruma 29 17
4-2 Ms42e Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 50
kyujo Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 22
kyujo (c) Ms43w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 45
3-3 Ms51w Daiseido Kise 28 11
6-0 Ms56w Abi Shikoroyama 26 2
 
3-3 Sd7e Higonojo Kise 36 40
kyujo Sd11w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 18
3-3 Sd12e Takaryu Kise 28 33
5-1 Sd18e Irodori Shikoroyama 28 6
1-5 Sd24w Dairaido Takadagawa 40 86
2-4 Sd50e Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 41
kyujo Sd54w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 35
4-2 Sd62e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 38
0-1-5 Sd75e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 56
5-1 Sd80e Fukushima Nishikido 24 13
 
0-1-5 Jd33w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 28
5-1 Jd55w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 5

 

Edited by Asashosakari
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Worth pointing out that because of the top four roundrobin, one of Terunofuji and Asanoyama will drop further off the yusho pace as long as Takayasu doesn't drop a bout himself.

What do you think about the possibility of promotion despite 0-3 against all three ozeki, if he shows really good sumo in the process? Something like Kakuryu v Asanoyama before the latter's own promotion?

Edited by Seiyashi

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41 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Worth pointing out that because of the top four roundrobin, one of Terunofuji and Asanoyama will drop further off the yusho pace as long as Takayasu doesn't drop a bout himself.

What do you think about the possibility of promotion despite 0-3 against all three ozeki, if he shows really good sumo in the process? Something like Kakuryu v Asanoyama before the latter's own promotion?

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

What do you think about the possibility of promotion despite 0-3 against all three ozeki, if he shows really good sumo in the process? Something like Kakuryu v Asanoyama before the latter's own promotion?

I don't think we'll ever see a promotion to ozeki with less than double digits in the promotion basho, regardless of how that record came about. That 10th win makes such a huge difference in terms of appearance.

Back before the current guidelines for the ozeki rank were formalized in 1969, they were happy to promote guys with runs that were just ridiculously weak by current standards (28 wins, only one double-digit record in three, etc.), but even back then they didn't pull the trigger on any 9-6'er even when their case for promotion was otherwise much better than some of the aforementioned.

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If Daishoho wins his last bout and goes 6-1 is he more or less guaranteed to be in Juryo next basho?

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