The Makushita yusho race is rapidly approaching its conclusion. Five rounds of bouts have whittled down the 120 or so rikishi to 4 undefeated wrestlers with 5-0 records. They should face each other on Day 11 to give us our finalists.
Here’s the bracket:
- Ms1 Kinbozan vs. Ms20 Tokihayate
- Ms38 Yoshii vs. Ms60 Asakoki
Kinbozan is the heavy favorite. He debuted at Sd100TD last November, and seeks to continue his pattern of going 7-0 Y, 5-2, 7-0 Y, 5-2. That’s a record of 29 wins and only 4 losses so far, if you’re counting. Yoshii is just 18, but has already spent 3 years in professional sumo, most of it in Makushita. I have nothing notable to say about the other semifinalists.
In the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone, Ms1e Takakento (3-2) needs one more win for a Juryo return. Ms1w Kinbozan (5-0) has all but clinched promotion already. Ms2e Roga is 4-1 and staked his promotion claim today by visiting Juryo and besting Hokuseiho. Ms2w Kanno is also 4-1. Given the strength of these records, I don’t see anyone else mounting a serious promotion campaign.
The only Day 10 action in the promotion zone is a visit by Kanno to Juryo, where he’ll try to strengthen his own promotion case by pushing J12w Yago (3-6) closer to demotion. The only Juryo wrestlers in worse shape than Yago are the absent Ishiura, who is facing certain demotion, and J11e Kaisei (1-8), who can probably afford only one more loss and may be nearing the end of his career.