Makushita Surprise

Well, the Asanoyama vs. Asonoyama dream playoff for the Makushita yusho isn’t going to happen. And the one who dropped the ball isn’t Ms56 Asonoyama, who extended his record to 6-0. Instead, former Ozeki Asanoyama (Ms15e) was drawn into a high-mobility oshi bout by Ms28 Yuma, got overly eager to finish his opponent, and lost to a thrust-over at the rope. There went his chance of immediate promotion to Juryo, and he’ll have to try again in November. Yuma should face Ms36 Daiseiryu (6-0) next, with the winner either taking the title outright or going into a playoff with Asonoyama.

So any promotions will now come from the Ms1-Ms5 Makushita joi. Ms1w Roga (4-2) is kachi-koshi and should be a lock for a long-awaited Juryo debut. Five rikishi at the Ms3w-Ms5w ranks have 3-3 or 4-2 records and need to win their final bouts and get favorable banzuke luck to make it to the salaried ranks.

2 thoughts on “Makushita Surprise

  1. I know some disagreed with me at the time, but you could see this coming. His sumo was a bit careless early in the tourney, and against a determined opponent with opportunity in front of him something like this was inevitable.

    If Terunofuji couldn’t make it back undefeated in the lower ranks (injured though he was), I didn’t think Asanoyama would either. But this will be good for him. He knows it’s not going to be just ceremonial now.

    • Inevitable is too strong I think; after all, Abi went undefeated in Makushita twice, and I don’t think he’s a better wrestler. But yeah, there’s very little margin for error. Even with a 95% chance of winning each bout, the probability of winning all 7 is only 70%.


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