The competition in the third division continues to winnow down the wrestlers to a single 7-0 champion. After 4 rounds of bouts, we are down to seven undefeated 4-0 wrestlers, who’ll be paired up tomorrow in rank order (with the 7th man fighting the highest-ranked undefeated Sandanme rikishi) to get us down to 3 or 4 yusho contenders. The seven include 3 former top-division wrestlers, 1 former Juryo man, two collegiate stars, and a Makushita veteran.
The frontrunner, former Komusubi Ms5 Ryuden, will meet former maegashira Ms15 Tomokaze. The two also met at the same point of the previous tournament, with Ryuden dealing Tomokaze his only loss. The winner will remain in the running for the automatic promotion slot that goes to an undefeated wrestler from the Ms1-Ms15 ranks.
Further down, it’s Ms18 Tanabe vs. Ms30 Akiseyama and Ms35 Nishikawa vs. Ms47 Irodori. Finally, Ms59 Kinbozan, whose record now stands at 11-0 after his undefeated debut at Sd100 in Kyushu, will take on Sd6 Roman.
With at least 3 slots already open in Juryo due to the absences of Asanoyama, Chiyonoo, and Shiden, and another one likely to be vacated by J13 Chiyoarashi (2-6), there is a lot on the line for the men in the regular Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone. I’ll take a closer look at the division exchange picture later in the tournament.