November 2015, Day 3: Hakuho, Kotoshogiku lead

Hakuho and Kotoshogiku lead the sanyaku after day three, joined by rank-and-filers Ikioi, Kaisei, and Chiyootori as the lone undefeated wrestlers in makuuchi. Ikioi, Kaisei, and Chiyootori are not really surprises, having early success at their low ranks. Ikioi and Chiyootori have been in sanyaku and Kaisei is a solid mid-range maegashira, having won 2 special prizes and even a Jun-Yusho when ranked lower on the banzuke. Chiyootori’s apparent return to form is encouraging as he’s coming off injury.

Ikioi’s position at maegashira 4 is right at the cusp of his range. At maegashira 3, a wrestler has a very difficult first week, fighting sanyaku wrestlers. He has had 5 previous tournaments at M4-M5, with a 45-30 record during those tournaments. Excluding the only makekoshi 7-8 and the 8-7 finish, he’s 30-15 in the remaining 3 tournaments. In short, if he’s ranked too high, he gets blown up by sanyaku wrestlers in the first week and can’t recover during the next week.

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