Readers of Tachiai know that we are followers of the rikishi from Humble, Texas and his ongoing battle to rise through sumo’s ranks. After securing his winning record on day 13 of Nagoya, Wakaichiro was certain to see a bump in rank headed back to Tokyo for the fall tournament.
When he banzuke was published this past Sunday, Wakaichiro had been ranked Jonidan 4 East, a top spot in Sumo’s lower division. Jonidan is an interesting division, as it has rikishi who are moving up to higher postings in Sandanme, and rikishi who are struggling or have “re-set” due to injury or other outage.
As with his prior two tournaments in Jonidan, Wakaichiro will likely meet a mix of newcomers and seasoned vets. Some of the opponents we might look forward to:
- Orora – He now holds the title for heaviest rikishi, taking it from the truly enormous Konishiki (who is Wakaichiro’s coach). Orora weighs as much as a small polar bear, or a touring motorcycle.
- Okunisato – Wakaichiro faced him on day 1 of Nagoya, and won. The schedulers like to see rematches, and it seems that Wakaichiro has out-paced almost all of his cohorts from prior basho.
- Wakakoki – Wakaichiro lost to him on day 12 if Natsu. The match resulted in a monoii, which gave the win to Wakakoki. It was very close, and I am sure Wakaichiro would like a second chance to best him.
A winning record at Aki will likely propel this young star to Sandanme for the November Kyushu tournament. As always, we will be keeping close tabs on Wakaichiro