The Yusho Race
Kakuryu outlasted Ikioi, and Tochinoshin prevailed over Hakuho in an epic battle. Congratulations, Shin-Ozeki! Going into the final three days, Tochinoshin leads at 12-0, followed by 11-1 Kakuryu and 10-2 Hakuho. Tochinoshin obviously controls his destiny: win out, and he claims a zensho yusho. He also has the easiest remaining schedule. Kakuryu also controls his destiny: if he can win out, defeating Tochinoshin on Saturday, the yusho would likely come down to a playoff between the two on senshuraku. Hakuho needs a lot of help to get into a playoff: even if Kakuryu defeats Tochinoshin, he needs the Georgian to pick up a second loss in one of his other two matches. If Tochinoshin defeats Kakuryu, he’d have to drop both of his other matches, which seems unlikely.
Day 13: Tochinoshin vs. Shodai, Hakuho vs. Ikioi, Kakuryu vs. Ichinojo
Day 14: Tochinoshin vs. Kakuryu, Hakuho vs. Ichinojo
Day 15: Tochinoshin vs. Ikioi (?), Hakuho vs. Kakuryu
Two San’yaku slots will open up with Endo’s demotion and Tochinoshin’s promotion. Mitakeumi lost today and still needs to pick up a win to make sure it’s not three. A lot is on the line: if he can win one of his remaining 3 matches, he’ll move up to Sekiwake; if not, he’ll drop out of San’yaku altogether. Ichinojo also lost, and needs one more win to ensure that he remains Sekiwake. One of them is guaranteed to pick up a win when they face off on senshuraku, and this may be Ichinojo’s best chance, as his other remaining bouts are against the two Yokozuna. Mitakeumi has Kotoshogiku tomorrow, and likely Shodai on Saturday.
Ikioi and Shodai lead the promotion candidates for now, followed by Kotoshogiku and, surprisingly, Tamawashi, whom we’ve written off but who may yet get back to San’yaku if he can win all three of his remaining matches. Shohozan and Abi dropped off the paces with their losses today, and also need to win out to have a chance.
The Line Between Makuuchi and Juryo
One slot in the top division will open up with Aminishiki’s demotion. Ishiura won today, but still needs to win out to survive, while Takekaze lost, putting him in the same position. Arawashi probably needs to win twice to be safe, while Daiamami and Ryuden need one win apiece. Everyone else has done enough to remain in Makuuchi in July.
Kotoeko has guaranteed a top-division debut, while Onosho has locked up a quick return to Makuuchi. Meisei still needs a win to join them, and that rounds out the list of legitimate promotion candidates in Juryo.