Hatsu state of play after Day 10

While a lot can change in the final 5-day act of the basho, some things are becoming clear. Here’s where we stand with the first two-thirds in the books.

The Yusho Race

Barring a really unexpected turn of events, this is down to 10-0 Yokozuna Kakuryu and 9-1 M3 Tochinoshin, with 8-2 M13 Daieisho hanging around.

The Sanyaku

The Ozeki corps is doing okay but not great. Goeido is 6-4 and needs two more wins to avoid going kadoban. Takayasu is 7-3, and needs one more win.

Despite 3 straight losses, Sekiwake Mitakeumi is 7-3 and needs only one more win to defend his rank (but 3 three wins to reach the elusive double digits). He faces a resurgent Shodai tomorrow, and possibly Okinoumi on Day 12, before having to run the Ozeki-Yokozuna gauntlet.

After Mitakeumi, the sanyaku is in shambles. The other Sekiwake, Tamawashi, is 3-7 and needs to go 5-0 to stay at Sekiwake (and 4-1 to stay in sanyaku with a drop to Komusubi). This will be challenging as he gets the Yokozuna tomorrow, and has also yet to face Tochinoshin. Komusubi Takakeisho is also 3-7 and in need of a perfect record in the remaining days to maintain his rank, although his toughest bouts are behind him. And of course, the other Komusubi, Onosho, has had to pull out.

In all likelihood, all this means that three sanyaku slots will be open for the Haru basho. Who gets them? Right now, you’re looking at Sekiwake Tochinoshin, who’s been ranked that high once before, in July 2016, Komusubi Ichinojo, and (surprise) Komusubi Takarafuji, who’s quietly put together a 7-3 record at M6 while much of the rest of the upper maegashira ranks have struggled, although M5 Endo (6-4) is not far behind. Others still with a shot at the second Komusubi slot include Yoshikaze, Kotoshogiku, Shodai, and Arawashi.

Staying in Makuuchi

After 10 days, most rikishi have done enough to ensure a place in the top division for Haru. Of course, among the lower maegashira, things will come down to the wire for many, and even a few of the higher-rankers are still in danger of demotion, largely due to absence and/or injury. The highest-ranked of these is M6 Ikioi, who at 2-8 likely needs one more win to be safe. As has been discussed at length, both of the M10s are unwisely returning to competition after kyujo stints. Terunofuji (0-3-7) would likely have to win all of his 5 matches to avoid Juryo, while Aminishiki (1-6-3) would need to go 4-1. Both seem…unlikely.

Need 1 more win to stay in Makuuchi:     Abi, Yutakayama.

Need 2 more wins to stay in Makuuchi:   Sokokurai, Ryuden, Asanoyama, Ishiura, Nishikigi (the last two would be safer with 3 wins, depending on how many strong promotion cases there are down in Juryo)

Need 4 more wins to stay in Makuuchi: Takekaze, Daiamami

Leading Juryo contenders for promotion to Makuuchi: Kyokutaisei, Myogiryu, Hidenoumi, with lots of action still to come.

12 thoughts on “Hatsu state of play after Day 10

  1. I think we’re going to have to get used to the lower Megashira ranks being a turnstile for the coming bashos. Things aren’t even solid in the San’yaku, so everything else is going to be topsy-turvy from basho to basho.

  2. Now that Onosho has pulled out Kakuryu needs one more maegashira to fill out his schedule. It will probably be Endo, but to me Daeisho would be a more fun option.

    Likely matchups for the last 4 days.

    Day 12:
    Kakuryu v Endo
    Goeido v Okinoumi
    Takayasu v Arawashi
    Mitakeumi v Takarafuji
    Tochinoshin v Chiyotairyu

    Day 13:
    Kakuryu v Mitakeumi
    Goeido v Takayasu
    Tochinohin v Hokutofuji

    Day 14:
    Kakuryu v Takayasu
    Goeido v Mitakemi
    Tochinoshin v Ichinojo

    Day 15
    Kakuryu v Goeido
    Takayasu v MItakeumi
    Tochinoshin v Tamawashi

    • These shud b gr8-
      Tochinoshin v Chiyotairyu
      Goeido v Takayasu
      Kakuryu v Takayasu
      *Tochinoshin v Ichinojo*

  3. Oh please, not Komusubi Takarafuji. He is nice and solid at the M4-M6 range, but he has about a snowball’s chance in Hell as a Komusubi. His heya doesn’t need that. He doesn’t need that.

    • Yeah I’d rather he sit at M2 or 3, where he won’t take as much punishment, but still have a chance at a kinboshi here or there. Basically swapping with Chiyotairyu, who has been having a terrible time this basho.

      The bottom ranks are miserable for me atm, except for the Happy Fun Ball of Chiyomaru. I guess it’s good for us viewers that Juryo cycles in and out, but the loss of income for the guys always feels bad. Watching Aoiyama struggle right now is like a premonition of Terunofuji’s fate.

      Sidenote – I really want to see one of the Tachiai folks in the “beginner” slot of commentary on Abema one day. You guys can totally react about random trivia about rikishi and put nee on the end of every comment, right? ;)

      • Heh. Pretending I’m stupid comes as naturally to me as pretending I’m pretty. I would make a miserable “beginner”.

        “Takayasu’s favorite manga is ‘One Piece”. He has all the volumes.”

        “Oh, my! Is that so? Ehhhh?”

        (Yawn)

        • So far I think “Peh” has been my favorite of the new guests (even if her name romanizes terribly). But perhaps drag stars are allowed to be a little less derpy sounding than the female guests. Some of the male guests have been way worse with the constant EHHHHHHs.

          The main thing I find hilarious is how the beginners interact with the oyakata, especially the recently retired/younger ones. Some oyakata are way better at explaining sumo mechanics and terminology than others. I think it does bring a little more liveliness to the non-makuuchi matches which can be iffy in quality sometimes. Maybe one small step towards engaging the online global market eventually.

  4. I just cannot get myself to like all these midgety legless lard balls and their kind of sumo! I miss the bashos when they were not so numerous!

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