As we close out act 2, we have a very clear picture of the yusho race. In a nut shell, it’s Hakuho’s to lose. The dai-Yokozuna is a brutally skilled competitor, and after a couple of shaky matches to start the basho, he is dispatching all opponents with flair and style. For any other rikishi to have even a chance of contending for the cup, Hakuho would need to lose 2 matches. Short of injury over the next 6 days, that would be unlikely.
The only chaser is a resurgent Chiyonokuni, who while performing well, would likely prove no real challenge for Hakuho. Though a match between Hakuho and Yago would be interesting.
But the more interesting story might be Takakeisho’s bid to become Ozeki. After his 13 wins to take the Kyushu yusho, his magic number to reach 33 is 11 during the Hatsu basho. Headed into day 10. he is 7-2, and needs 4 wins over the next 6 days. But he has Takayasu and Hakuho to face. He last faced Hakuho at Aki, for a loss. After their initial match during Nagoya 2017, each subsequent bout has seen Takakeisho coming closer to presenting a worthy challenge. We expect the Takakeisho / Hakuho to be one of the highlights of act 3, and may happen as soon as day 11.
Hunt Group: Takakeisho, Tamawashi, Kaisei, Yago
6 Matches Remain