The yusho race
Undefeated Mitakeumi (10-0) leads by 2 wins over the M13 duo of Tochiozan and Asanoyama—not exactly what anyone would have predicted before the basho! Tomorrow, the leader takes on 7-3 M4 Kaisei, whom he’s never beaten in 4 attempts. Tochiozan has a big bout against 7-3 M6 Chiyotairyu, while Asanoyama faces 5-5 M10 Nishikigi. At this point, Mitakeumi would have to lose three times in 5 matches for the large 7-3 group, which includes both remaining Ozeki, to come into contention.
The upper ranks
The kadoban Ozeki both stand at 7-3 and need one win apiece to be off “probation.” This could happen as early as tomorrow, with Goeido facing 3-7 M5 Daishomaru and Takayasu taking on listless Ichinojo.
We already know that Mitakeumi will retain his Sekiwake rank, while Komusubi Shohozan will be demoted back down to the maegashira ranks. The other Komusubi, Tamawashi, at 6-4 is in good shape to stay in San’yaku, and likely move up to Sekiwake, as 4-6 Ichinojo seems unlikely to go 4-1 against a slate of opponents that includes Mitakeumi and both Ozeki. Takakeisho leads the scramble for promotion to San’yaku, with Chiyonokuni and Kaisei close behind.
The demotion danger zone
One win in the final 5 days would remove Chiyoshoma, Kyokutaisei, Chiyomaru, Hokutofuji, and Ryuden from any danger of demotion, while even a single loss would seal the fate of Meisei. Kotoeko needs 4 wins to reach safety, while Ishiura, Okinoumi, and Arawashi need 3. And then there’s Yoshikaze, whose 2 needed victories seem ever further out of reach…
Takanoiwa has likely already punched his ticket back to the top division. The other candidates for promotion from Juryo are Takanosho, Kotoyuki, Daimami and Aminishiki.