Aki Basho Endgame & Fallout


goeido-13

With Two Days Left, Here Is How We See It

  • Leader (13-0): Goeido
  • Lone Hunter (11-2): Endo
  • 2 Days Remain

As Andy pointed out, the odds are now overwhelming that Goeido wins the Aki basho. It’s also more than even odds that he will do so with a perfect score of 15-0. This would be a huge come-back from his kadoban status, but not unprecedented. In fact it seems according to sumo database at sumogames.de, it would seem that the last time we had Kadoban to zensho yusho was 1934. So very rare.

The biggest casualty of Aki will likely turn out to be Kisenosato, who went in to this tournament with the expectation that he would challenge for the title, and once again present a solid case for promotion to Yokozuna. Instead his sumo was inconsistent, and as a result he dropped out of serious competition for the title the day he could not defeat Goeido.

That single bout, where Kisenosato faced Goeido, was the point where everything changed in the sumo universe. On Day 11, there was a slim path that required Kisenosato to win, and his stable mate Takayasu to win over Harumafuji. Takayasu was indeed victorious in a glorious display of just how good this up and coming Sekiwake has been this tournament. But Kisenosato could not close the deal.

ichiban

A Kisenosato win on day 11 would have given us

Leaders (10-1): Goeido, Endo
Chasers (9-2): Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Takayasu

This is would have quite possibly resulted in one of the most amazing final quarters of a basho in my memory. But Goeido would not be stopped. Each bout this tournament, he has picked an attack, and committed everything to it’s delivery. If we see this side of Goeido consistently, we may instead be talking about a Yokozuna run for Goeido. In fact the yokozuna promotion rules have special consideration for zehsho wins (perfect score), which might lead to a Goeido “fast track”.

From here we see Goeido face Tamawashi on day 14, and I am guessing Endo on day 15. Endo faces Takayasu day 13, as Takayasu works to rack up his win record for consideration of promotion to Ozeki in the not too distant future. Sadly Terunofuji is now kadoban, and cannot sit out the next basho without being demoted out of Ozeki. Likewise, Shin-Sekiwake Takarafuji is now make-kochi and facing at least 1 step demotion.

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