Day 5 Makushita Alert

The top of the third division is a fierce battleground for those hoping to reach the paid ranks. A wrestler who manages to go 7-0 while ranked between Ms1 and Ms15 gets a near-automatic Juryo slot, with any other open slots usually going to those ranked between Ms1 and Ms5 with the best rank-record combinations. A minimum of three slots should be open, given the absences of Asanoyama and Shiden and today’s withdrawal of Chiyonoo (0-4).

And on Day 5, we get what may be a showdown for automatic promotion, not to mention the Makushita yusho, as the two leading contenders clash early. In the East corner, we have former Komusubi Ryuden (2-0), currently ranked Ms5e after taking the division title last time on his way back from suspension. And in the West corner, we have 19-year-old phenom Atamifuji (2-0) from Isegahama beya, currently ranked Ms1w. Atamifuji made his debut a year ago, took the Jonokuchi and Jonidan titles in his first two basho, and sports a 38-6 career record. Ryuden will certainly present the stiffest test he has faced to date.

It’s the past against the future, and the winner has to be regarded as the odds-on favorite for the division title, although he will have to fight his way through a gauntlet of veterans and hot prospects to make it to 7-0. I’ll try to provide updates on this race throughput the tournament; in the meantime, don’t sleep on tomorrow’s bout!

3 thoughts on “Day 5 Makushita Alert

  1. Atamifuji goes up to Juryo, wins, and now is thrown against Ryuden? Man truth hurts. Let’s see if he can win it

  2. That was an excellent match! Atamifuji reqlly gave a run for his money, though Ryuden never looked in danger of losing. I have a feeling we’ll see them both in Juryo when we get tp Osaka.


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