November Tournament: Day 5

Kakuryu contines to contest Hakuho for the tournament title. Both stand undefeated at 5-0. Harumafuji (3-2) continues his dominance over Ikioi (1-4) but his strength of schedule should ease off a bit in a few days since he’s already faced all the Ozeki and two of the three yokozuna. He’s got Aoiyama tomorrow and surely Kakuryu and Ichinojo after that. But from there he should start picking up wins and still has a good chance of getting kachi-koshi.

His fellow Komusubi, Takekaze, is also on a 1-4 record so at least they’ve gotten important wins in the first few days. Both sekiwake, Ichinojo and Aoiyama have been strong at 3-2. Their head-to-head went to Ichinojo but hopefully both will do well enough over the next 10 days to stay in their ranks. The top maegashira have also all picked up important wins in the first third of the tournament and will hopefully improve their records as they face lower-ranked opposition.

The Ozeki, however, have all racked up losses, especially Kotoshogiku (2-3). With those three losses, he faces Takekaze tomorrow and has yet to face a single ozeki or yokozuna. He will struggle to get kachi-koshi. Goeido didn’t start out strong but has picked up important wins over the past three days. He’ll have a tough one tomorrow against Aminishishiki. Meanwhile, Kisenosato has looked really strong this tournament, despite picking up his first tournament loss against Aoiyama. That’s not entirely unexpected, though, as Aoiyama has kind of owned the Ozeki this year, now having won 4 of their last 5 meetings. I should have put more weight behind their recent record rather than predicting Goeido as the ozeki upset.

Down in the Maegashira, Tochinoshin has been strong and faces Jokoryu though there’s still lingering concern over his knees. Okinoumi and Kyokutenho are both one loss off pace but are great to watch. Endo is still winless against Jokoryu and faces Toyonoshima tomorrow.

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