We are nearing the conclusion of the Makushita yusho race. Five rounds of bouts have whittled down the 120 or so rikishi to 4 undefeated wrestlers with 5-0 records.They’ll face each other on Day 11 to give us our finalists.
In the highlight bout, Ms8e Oshoma bested Ms10w Tomokaze in a clash of similar styles. Oshoma is only in his 4th tournament, having started at Ms15TD in November and gone 17-9 in upper Makushita. If he can go 7-0, he will get fast-tracked to Juryo. His next opponent will be Ms18 Tochiseryu, who’s been toiling in the lower divisions since debuting in 2014.
The other semifinal pairs wily veteran Kitaharima with the dark-horse bottom-of-the-division contender, M59e Kanzaki. Kanzaki is appearing in only his second basho after starting at Sd100TD in March and taking the 4th division title; he has won his first 12 professional bouts. 35-year-old lightweight Kitaharima, who once made it to M15, is known mainly for yo-yoing between Makushita and Juryo (8 times, including 6 single-basho Juryo stints), and for holding the career record for losses by oshitaoshi (62).
In the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone, Ms2e Hokuseiho (3-2) lost to Ms3e Chiyosakae (4-1), who now has the first promotable record, while Hokuseiho still needs at least one more win to return to Juryo. The Ms1 duo of Chiyonoumi and Nishikawa sports matching 3-2 records, and each needs one more wins to taste salaried status. Ms4w Kinbozan (3-1), the March champion with a 22-3 career record, likely needs 2 wins. Ms3w Hakuyozan (1-4) is officially out of contention, while everyone else needs to win out and hope for good banzuke luck (and of the 3-loss group, only Ms2w Tsushimanada would have a realistic shot with 4 wins).
2 thoughts on “Makushita Final 4”
I hope there will be slots for 4 Juryo promotions.
Currently 7-8 guys in juryo are in a fair bit of trouble, not all will end up demotable, but should be a decent number.