This will be a brief Thanksgiving update.
The Yusho Race
After today’s results, the Emperor’s cup will likely be lifted either by Komusubi Takakeisho (11-1) or Ozeki Takayasu (10-2), both seeking their first championship. It looks like the schedulers will save their showdown for the musubi no ichiban (final bout) on senshuraku (final day of the tournament). Tomorrow, the leaders face two of the four men in the 9-3 hunt group: Takakeisho gets Aoiyama, while Takayasu goes against Daieisho. The other chasers face some of the strongest opposition still available, with Okinoumi matched against 8-4 Shohozan, who holds a 9-5 H2H edge, and Onosho taking on 7-5 Kotoshogiku, who leads their series 3-1.
Fighting for Rank
Ozeki Tochinoshin’s loss to Takayasu left him at 6-6 and seeking 2 victories in the remaining 3 days. East Sekiwake Mitakeumi, who picked up a freebie due to Goeido’s withdrawal, has the same record and also needs 2 victories. Thus, the stakes are likely to be high when these two meet on senshuraku. Tomorrow, Tochinoshin gets Takanoiwa, while Mitakeumi faces Chiyotairyu. West Sekiwake Ichinojo (4-8) won’t hold on to his rank, but can limit his demotion to Komusubi if he manages to win out, starting with Yoshikaze tomorrow.
So far, no one has staked a strong claim to taking over the open sanyaku slot(s). The M2 pair of Tochiozan and Tamawashi, both 7-5, are in the best shape but still need to earn their kachi-koshi. Other higher-ranked contenders also have records ranging from 5-7 to 7-5, and lower-ranked Shohozan (8-4) and Daieisho (9-3) are in the mix, so this race will come down to who can get hot for the final three days.
Arawashi and Chiyomaru are assured of demotion. Takanosho lost again and now needs to win out to have a good chance of staying in the top division. Daishomaru won but needs two more victories to reach safety, as does Chiyoshoma, who lost. After Chiyonokuni’s defeat of Daiamami, both still needing another win; Meisei is probably safe but could breathe easier if he can win another bout, while Sadanoumi and Yutakayama reached safety with their 5th victories today.
In Juryo, Yago clinched promotion with his 8th win! Kotoyuki should be joining him in the top division after picking up his 9th. Terutsuyoshi and Kotoeko need another victory apiece. Daishoho and Ishiura would have to win out, while Aminishiki would need a lot of banzuke luck even with 3 more victories.