Nagoya—who’s fighting for what with 2 days to go

Here’s where we are after day 13.

Hakuho still leads the yusho race with one loss. Aoiyama, despite stepping out first, got the decision today and is one loss back. Inexplicably, the schedulers have not brought him up to fight tougher opposition on day 14—he gets M12 Takekaze. Harumafuji and Tochiozan are still mathematically in it with 3 losses each.

Goeido still needs a win to avoid kadoban status, though with the way Takayasu is fighting, this now seems easier than it did a couple of days ago. Takayasu seems happy to rest on his kachi koshi.

Tamawashi is in real trouble, and needs to win out to stay at Sekiwake. Ura in his current state shouldn’t be too much of a challenge tomorrow, though he’s nothing if not unpredictable. The day 15 opponent (Tochiozan?) should provide a stiffer challenge.

Mitakeumi now needs to win out (again Tochiozan tomorrow and perhaps Onosho Sunday) to barely initiate an Ozeki run.

Yoshikaze needs to win out to control his destiny for a Sekiwake slot without having to depend on Tamawashi losing. He has Onosho and (likely) Ura.

Kotoshogiku needs to win out to stay in san’yaku; Tochinoshin should pose a stiff challenge tomorrow, as would Hokutofuji on Sunday.

If a san’yaku slot or two open up, Tochiozan is in the pole position, followed by Tochinoshin and Aoiyama, with Hokutofuhi and Onosho within striking distance. Other than these 5, it’s slim pickings for the upper maegashira ranks at Aki; amazingly, the M10 pair of Chiotairyu and Shohozan are the next-highest-ranked rikishi to make kachi koshi or even have a winning record, although Ura, Ichinojo, and Ishiura can still get there by winning out.

Kotoyuki and Gagamaru are headed down to Juryo, Kaisei is headed back up, and as of now Asanoyama would join him. Several others down in Juryo may end up promotion-worthy, but will slots be opened up for them through demotion? Sokokurai probably needs to win out to avoid demotion, and Tokushoryu, Okinoumi, and Nishikigi probably need a win; none have easy match-ups on day 14.

4 thoughts on “Nagoya—who’s fighting for what with 2 days to go

  1. Some of my own thoughts on the remaining battles, and who is under the gun:

    • Goeido – The habitually kadoban Ozeki needs one more win to avoid the probationary status for Aki. Last year he went into the Aki basho with a kadoban status, and won the yusho with a perfect 15-0 record.
    • Tamawashi – He has been at Sekiwake for 4 basho, but this time he is in tough shape. He needs to win both of his final matches to retain his rank. Day 14 he faces the injured and greatly less aggressive Ura.
    • Kotoshogiku – With only 6 wins, he also needs to win both remaining matches to retain his san’yaku post. Day 14 he faces possible special prize winner Tochinoshin.
    • Hokutofuji – This hard charging young rikishi has seldom settled for a losing record. He needs one more win to secure kachi-koshi, and he faces Ishiura day 14.
    • Ura – Crowd favorite battle sprite was pressed into the joi rotation after a host of upper ranked rikishi went kyujo in the first week. Now he has a sore knee and a gamey foot, and franky he is on a make-koshi trajectory. Simply put, he was not ready for a full Yokozuna and Ozeki test. If he can heal, he will be back.
    • Nishikigi – He needs one more win to hold on to the barest edge of Makuuchi, but on day 14 he faces “Big Guns” Shohozan, whom he has never beaten.
    • Chiyonokuni – Also needs one more win, fights Sokokurai on day 14 – who tends to beat him.
    • Chiyonokuni could float way up the banzuke with a pair of wins, given the carnage above him.

  2. In the back of my mind: if a 7-7 Goeido faces Takayasu on the final day with kadoban status on the line, does Takayasu, who already has his kachi koshi, ease up, in case he needs a favor later?


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