The Yusho Race
No change today, with the Big Three all winning. Tomorrow, we get the undercard of Kakuryu vs. Ikioi, followed by the headline event of the basho, Hakuho vs. Tochinoshin. We could emerge with anything from a 3-way tie to a commanding lead for our next Ozeki.
It looks increasingly likely that exactly two San’yaku slots will open up, one with Endo’s now certain demotion and the other with Tochinoshin’s promotion. With his win today, Ichinojo cemented a San’yaku rank and needs one more win to ensure that this rank remains Sekiwake, while Mitakeumi lost and still needs one win to move back up to Sekiwake. His next chance comes tomorrow against Chiyotairyu.
The promotion picture is quite muddled. Ikioi is currently in the lead. Shohozan’s win over Abi gives him the advantage between the two, and Shodai and Kotoshogiku remain very much in the picture. Tomorrow’s key matches include Kotoshogiku vs. Ichinojo, Abi vs. Daieisho, and Shohozan vs. Shodai.
The Line Between Makuuchi and Juryo
Aminishiki is definitely headed back down to Juryo. Ishiura needs to win out to survive, and takes on Aminishiki tomorrow in what’s likely his easiest remaining match. Takekaze’s loss today puts him next in line for demotion.
With victories today, J2 Kotoeko and J1 Onosho have almost certainly clinched promotion. J4 Meisei also won, putting him in good position to move up should a third Makuuchi slot open up.