With two days to go, here’s where things stand.
The top 3 all lost on Day 14, so the leaderboard is unchanged: Yokozuna Terunofuji and M2 Ichinojo are at 11-3, followed by Ozeki Takakeisho at 10-4. Takakeisho squares off with Terunofuji tomorrow, needing a win, as well as a loss by Ichinojo, to force a playoff. Ichinojo faces 7-7 M3w Ura, the highest-ranked available opponent with a kachi-koshi on the line. Depending on the results of these two bouts, we could have a sole winner, a two-way playoff, or a 3-way playoff.
O1e Takakeisho (10-4) is kachi-koshi, as is O2w Shodai (9-5) who has cleared kadoban. O1w Mitakeumi‘s (2-4*) fate is unknown.
S1e Wakatakakage (8-6), K1e Hoshoryu (9-5), and K1w Abi (8-6) are all kachi-koshi and will at least hold rank. S1w Daieisho (6-6*) has joined the ranks of COVID-kyujo rikishi, and his fate is unknown. The obvious promotion candidate, should a slot open, is M2w Ichinojo (11-3), whose score is getting strong enough that extra san’yaku slots may be a possibility, especially if top-ranked maegashira M1e Kiribayama (7-7) manages to fight his way back from 4-7 to kachi-koshi. Depending on what they decide to do with Mitakeumi, we could have anywhere from the usual 4 to the much more unusual 7 rikishi in these ranks at Aki.
The records of M16w Daiamami (2-8-2*), M17w Chiyomaru (5-9) and M9e Shimanoumi (1-13) are beyond salvaging, and they should be going down to Juryo even if rikishi with weak promotion cases need to be brought up to replace them. Juryo yusho winner J1e Ryuden (12-2) has reclaimed his spot in the top division in emphatic fashion. The other best-placed Juryo contenders are J4w Mitoryu (8-6), J3e Kagayaki (7-7) if he wins, and J5e Chiyonokuni (8-5).
And here’s a brief final update on the Juryo/Makushita exchange picture. Absent J10w Ishiura is facing certain demotion. Ms1w Kinbozan (6-1) will replace him and make his Juryo debut. Ms1e Takakento (4-3) will be trading divisions with J12w Yago (4-10). Ms2w Kanno (5-2) henka’d his way to a win over J11e Kaisei (4-10) and will take his place in the second division, ending the Brazilian’s 12-year run in the sekitori ranks and likely his career. Ms2e Roga (4-3) lost his own “exchange bout” against J11w Tochimaru (6-8), who should now be safe, while Roga will have to try for promotion again in September from the top of Makushita.