As we head towards the final weekend of Hatsu, our lower division “Ones to Watch” have a light schedule today, with most of the heavy-hitters having competed day 11. Of special note is the crazy, unthinkable chance that Hattorizakura will pick up his first ever second win of a basho, and the hopes that Wakaichiro can run up the score and move closer to a return to Sandanme.
Hattorizakura vs Hamasu – Sumo’s perpetual loss leader has a chance to set a personal best for any basho by picking up a second win. His opponent is in his first basho as a rikishi, and lord knows what will happen.
Wakaichiro vs Tenichi – Wakaichiro lost his day 10 match, and is now in the 4-1 bracket and out of the Jonidan yusho race. Hopefully this eases any tension he may have felt. What is at stake now is the magnitude of his promotion in March. Tenichi is no easy mark, as he spent 81 basho in Makushita, and certainly has the skill to dismantle anyone in Jonidan. But declining health has left him struggling.
Kenho vs Kaorufuji – Giant Kenho is already make-koshi, and fighting in the 1-4 bracket to try and seek out his second win. His demotion back to Jonidan is more or less certain at this point, and he has never bested Kaorufuji in their 2 prior matches.
Torakio vs Hitenryu – Naruto heya’s Torakio needs to win his final 2 matches to exit Hatsu with a kachi-koshi, and a ranking near the top of Sandanme for March. He faces a former Juryo rikishi who is at the tail end of his career.
Midorifuji vs Koba – Midorifuji needs one more win to secure his kachi-koshi for January, His day 12 opponent, Koba, is a long serving Makushita main stay, who is fighting near his highest ever rank. Should be a good match.