Nagoya State of Play, Day 12

While the stills are not definitive, anyone with eyes and access to video replay could tell that Takayasu’s big toe landed outside the dohyo before Mitakeumi’s foot—except, apparently, the men whose job it was to make the call. As a result, the Sekiwake’s record stands at 11-1 rather than 12-0. One can only hope that this delays rather than derails his yusho bid.

The yusho race

Following losses by both M13 pursuers, Mitakeumi still leads by two wins with three days to go, but now over a quartet of Goeido, Yutakayama, Tochiozan and Asanoyama. The leader faces his second Ozeki opponent tomorrow, while the schedulers pit Yutakayama against Tochiozan, and Asanoyama against 8-4 Myogiryu (who defeated Tochiozan today). Six 8-4 rikishi are mathematically still in it.

The upper ranks

After today’s travesty of a final-bout result, both Ozeki have cleared their kadoban status. Sekiwake Ichinojo (6-6) and Komusubi “Destroyer of Elbows” Tamawashi (7-5) don’t seem ready to surrender their ranks, and their victories today increase the likelihood that only one San’yaku slot will open up. Right now, that slot would probably go to Takakeisho, with Ikioi and Kaisei best-positioned should he falter down the stretch.

The line between Makuuchi and Juryo

Today’s losses by top-division newcomers Kotoeko and Meisei almost certainly sealed their returns to Juryo. Arawashi is in the greatest danger of joining them, as he probably needs to win out to escape demotion, while Ishiura and Yoshikaze are still searching for the two wins apiece they need to reach safe harbor. 6-6 Ryuden needs another win, and Okinoumi and Chiyoshoma could breathe easier with one more victory.

The good news for the men on the bubble is that the list of promotion candidates in Juryo is a little thin. Takanoiwa and newcomer Takonosho should definitely be in the top division at Aki, and Kotoyuki should join them with one more win. None other than Aminishiki leads a largish group of upper-Juryo rikishi with borderline records who could stake a promotion claim by winning out.

9 thoughts on “Nagoya State of Play, Day 12

  1. I am surprised how many long-serving Makuuchi rikishi are deeply into make-koshi this tournament. I know I have been forecasting the fade for over a year now, but it’s surprising how deeply it’s digging in.

    • I doesn’t strike me as unusual (the list of demotion candidates seems fairly typical for day 12) except, of course, for Yoshikaze’s complete meltdown…

  2. I dunno, I haven’t seen a definitive replay angle. Meanwhile, there is a judge closer than anyone or any camera right there in that still shot.

    • That said, I agree with your prior analysis that rematch was probably the best call for fairness (but the worst for the tournament & Takayasu’s body)

    • I was sitting on that livestream and even after multiple views, I honestly think Takayasu touched out first. That said, I defer — I wasn’t there, let alone there sitting at eye level. Ah, well.

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