Makushita Day 11: Down To The Wire

The Makushita yusho race is rapidly approaching its conclusion. Six rounds of bouts have whittled down the 120 or so rikishi to 2 undefeated wrestlers with 6-0 records who will face off on Day 13 for the title.

In one corner we have, from Kazakhstan, weighing in at 165 kg, it’s Ms1 Kinbozan. And in the other corner, from Shizuoka, weighing in at 152 kg, it’s Ms38 Yoshii.

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 30 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. This is by far his best tournament in the third division, and even a loss here would see him at his career high rank, near the extended promotion zone.

In the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone, Ms1e Takakento is 3-3 after losing his crossover bout with J12e Kitanowaka, and will need a win in his final bout, likely against an endangered Juryo opponent, to return to the sekitori ranks. Ms1w Kinbozan (6-0) has presumably clinched promotion. Ms2e Roga and Ms2w Kanno, both 4-2, need to win and hope for losses by others.

There is no action in the promotion zone on Day 12.

In Juryo the absent Ishiura is facing certain demotion. The other endangered wrestlers are J11w Tochimaru (3-8), J11e Kaisei (3-8), and J12w Yago (4-7), all of whom need to go 3-1 or better in the remaining 4 days to avoid a likely drop to Makushita.

3 thoughts on “Makushita Day 11: Down To The Wire

  1. COVID kyujo might be an odd wrinkle to the demotion candidates. I wonder what if a COVID kyujo would save any of them from demotion. This is going to be a very challenging, odd time.

    • Agree. At the moment this would affect Shimazuumi and Oshoma, and it would be awfully harsh to demote them when they went 5-3 in the ring and were in the thick of the yusho race before they got yanked.

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