The scheduling committee was able to achieve their goal, but by unexpected means. With Hakuho unable to stop Tochinoshin’s zero loss march to the yusho, it came about from an unexpected source – Shodai. Easily one of the easy to overlook under performers, Shodai is both a disappointment and a well of potential at the same time. He is tenacious, large and earnest in his sumo. His mechanics are frequently terrible, and he shows a loose grasp of the fundamentals. But his instincts are solid.
With the match between Tochinoshin and Yokozuna Kakuryu on day 14, we will know who will get to battle it out of the yusho, and the yusho probably won’t be decided until possibly the final match on the final day. There are several paths that end in a three way or even 4 way barnyard brawl on the final day, with the winner the resulting playoff walking out there there with the hardware. Fortunately for folks in the US and much of the EU, this is a 3 day weekend, and if we indulge with an orgy of overnight or early morning sumo goodness, we can recover by the start of the work week.
Leaders – Kakuryu, Tochinoshin
Chaser – Hakuho
Hunter – Chiyonokuni
*Edit by lksumo: Since 12-1 Kakuryu and 12-1 Tochinoshin face off tomorrow, and they can’t both lose, 10-3 Chiyonokuni is mathematically out, unless we get the following scenario dreamed up by Andy: “Double kyujo as they both stub their toes walking to Kokugikan.”
2 Matches Remain.
What We Are Watching Day 14
Daiamami vs Aoiyama – The man-mountain is once again trying for his kachi-koshi, against the smaller and more mobile Daiamami.
Tochiozan vs Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni wants to keep winning to stay on the pace with the group at the top of the torikumi slugging it out for the yusho. There are some fringe scenarios that would have him possibly in contention if specific sequence of people win and lose over day 14 and 15.
Myogiryu vs Takakeisho – Both are already kachi-koshi, so this is a safe match in terms of their slots on the Nagoya banzuke. But it pits two fairly mobile but shorter rikishi against each other, separated by many spaces in the banzuke. With Myogiryu fighting as well as he has been the last week, this could be a fun and interesting match.
Yoshikaze vs Nishikigi – First time meeting between these two, Yoshkikze needs to win out to get a kachi-koshi. But our Berserker is looking like he’s just not feeling it right now. Nishikigi is shopping for additional boost points for the banzuke.
Asanoyama vs Kagayaki – Asanoyama comes into this needing one more win for his kochi-kochi, and he’s going up against Mr. Fundamentals. That means that Asanoyama is going to need to be sharp and crisp in his attack and defense moves to get past Kagayaki, whom he has never beaten.
Sadanoumi vs Chiyomaru – Sadanoumi needs one more win for kachi-koshi, facing already make-koshi Chiyomaru. The career record favors Chiyomaru 6-1, so Sadanoumi has his work cut out for him against “The Anchor”.
Tamawashi vs Ikioi – Tamawashi needs to win out to stake any kind of claim to a return to San’yaku for Nagoya, and he has Mr. “Can’t Stop – Shan’t Stop” in Ikioi. Tamawashi’s pugilist style may be the ticket to overwhelm an already injured Ikioi, who will likely be firmly in the joi for Nagoya.
Kotoshogiku vs Kaisei – To me this is possibly the most important match of the day. If Kotoshogiku can roll the Kaisei, he’s kachi-koshi, and with luck we will see a healthy Kotoshogiku do battle in the heat of Nagoya against all the top men of sumo. Kaisei struggled at the top of Maegashira, and I think will be more comfortable around Maegashira 7-5 in July.
Mitakeumi vs Shodai – “Shodai the Unexpected”, “Shodai the Surpriser”, “Shodai the Unlikely”. Any way I try to put it, I find it tough to reason back through the prior 13 days and future out how we get to a kachi-koshi Shodai. Today he faces Mitakeumi, who in some ways is almost the same rikishi at times. Will he get Mitakeumi to step on a rake, as he has convinced so many of his opponents to do this tournament? Could Shodai be up for a special prize? I think I need to put more sake in the fridge…
Kakuryu vs Tochinoshin – Another pivotal match in the yusho race. This one sets in motion the selection between the various combinations that Herouth (and hopefully lksumo) are thinking through. I am fairly confident that Tochinoshin has his Ozeki bid wrapped, but he is still (in my opinion) the man to beat for the cup right now. Kakuryu leads their career series 21-2, with Kakuryu handing Tochinoshin one of his few losses on the way to his Hatsu yusho, and Tochinoshin handing Kakuryu one his few losses on his way to the Osaka yusho. This one is wound tight, and ready to snap!
Ichinojo vs Hakuho – Ichinojo needs one more win to hold on to Sekiwake, but I am going to guess he won’t find it on day 14. Even though Hakuho seems to be will be focused on “improving” his Ichinojo with an overwhelming match.
12 thoughts on “Natsu Day 14 Preview”
How about Makushita. If Enho wins his last bout tomorrow, will a 5-2 record be enough for a promotion back to Juryo?
With Terunofuji, Homarefuji and Asabenkei 3 demotions are already secured. Hak —-uyozan and Chiyonoo need one more win to be safe too.
On the other side – Chiyonoumi should get promoted no matter if he beats Enho or loses. Akua and Tobizaru fight out one place in Juryo tomorrow I think. That leaves Kizaki at M4, who can also reach 5-2 and Murata and Gokunshindo at M7, who could both end with 6-1 records as candidates.
“That leaves Kizaki at M4, who can also reach 5-2 and Murata and Gokunshindo at M7, who could both end with 6-1 records as candidates.”
Maybe in a couple years, haha.
Not sure what you are refering to. Enho won and Kizaki has a matchup with Wakatakagake on day 15. He wins and Wakatakagake already on J14w will get demoted. Asabenkei and Terunofuji will get demoted for sure. Both Hakuyozan and Homarefuji could end up with very bad records for their rank …
Just check top Makushita. There arent many strong winning records.
He meant that “M” is typically the abbreviation of choice for Maegashira, not Makushita.
Right, sorry for that ;) When writing I was wondering if it was Ma or Ms and for some reason it seems I didn’t finish that thought ;)
Tough luck on the former komusubi (and ex-“next big thing”) Jokoryu who ends up with 3-4 at makushita 2 after being given juryo opponents in his last 2 matches. He got through Terutsuyoshi but lost to Wakatakakage. Meanwhile Toyonoshima (ex-sekiwake with 5 jun-yusho) gets 5-2 at Ma16 and should be right in the thick of the promotion battle next time around. Both men have made very creditable fightbacks from injury and still have plenty to offer.
Agree, I was hoping Jokoryu could make it back this Basho and I’m rooting for Toyonoshima since a looooong time. Seems he finally got more healthy again.
Chiyonokuni is mathematically out, as he already has 3 losses, and tomorrow’s winner of the Kakuryu-Tochinoshin clash can’t get more than 2.
In other words, Kakuryu and Tochinoshin would both need to lose tomorrow, which is obviously impossible ;-)
Double kyujo as they both stub their toes walking to Kokugikan.
Tochinoshin already stamped his ticket but the win puts him in better contention for yokozuna promotion….. hope his need can handle.