The competition in the third division continues to winnow down the wrestlers to a single 7-0 champion. After 5 rounds of bouts, we are down to just three undefeated 5-0 wrestlers. The frontrunner, former Komusubi Ms5 Ryuden, prevailed over former maegashira Ms15 Tomokaze (4-1). Next up for him should be another recent member of the top division, Ms30 Akiseyama. The other remaining contender is former collegiate star Ms35 Nishikawa. Ms59 Kinbozan suffered an upset loss, the first of his career, at the hands of Sd6 Roman, whom I expect to be Nishikawa’s next opponent.
At least 3 slots are already open in Juryo due to the absences of Asanoyama, Chiyonoo, and Shiden, and another one is likely to be vacated by J13 Chiyoarashi (2-7). One will probably go to Ryuden, especially if he keeps winning. The other contenders in the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. Ms1 Atamifuji, after visiting Juryo and handing the leader J14 Yago (8-1) his only loss to date, has now dropped 3 in a row to fall to 2-3. He will need to win out to make his sekitori debut. Then we have Ms2 Shimazuumi (3-2), Ms3 Takakento (3-2), Ms4e Karyu (2-3), and Ms4w Tochimaru (3-2).
Atamifuji will pay another visit to Juryo tomorrow to take on Chiyoarashi. The rest don’t fight until Day 11, so come back on Wednesday to see who steps up and who drops out of the race for salaried rank.