Makushita Elite 8

The Makushita yusho race is in full swing. Four rounds of bouts have whittled down the 120 or so rikishi to 8 undefeated wrestlers with 4-0 records. Tomorrow, they’ll face each other to give us our semifinalists.

Here’s the bracket:

  • Ms1 Kinbozan vs. Ms15 Shonannoumi
  • Ms20 Tokihayate vs. Ms26 Ishizaki
  • Ms38 Yoshii vs. Ms42 Arauma
  • Ms57 Chiyotora vs. Ms60 Asakoki

Shonannoumi still has a shot at near-automatic promotion to Juryo with an upset of Kinbozan followed by two more wins.

Outside the yusho race, nothing has yet been decided in the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone, but the picture is starting to get clearer. Ms1e Takakento (2-2) needs two more wins for a Juryo return. Ms1w Kinbozan (4-0) has probably done enough for promotion already, though he hasn’t definitively clinched it. Ms2e Roga and Ms2w Kanno, both 3-1, are off to a good start, and one more win could see them make a sekitori debut. I think that Ms4e Kamito (3-1), who picked up his first loss in a hard-fought bout against Kinbozan, is the only other man with a realistic promotion shot.

The key Day 9 bouts in the promotion zone are:

  • Takakento vs. Ms4w Chiyonoumi (2-2)
  • Kamito vs. Kanno
  • Ms3e Tomokaze (1-3) vs. Ms5e Chiyoarashi (1-3)

Roga will try to stake his promotion claim with a visit to Juryo, where he’ll take on Hokuseiho. I’ll try to keep these reports coming as additional rounds of bouts are completed.

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