Makushita Final Four

Please see my previous posts for background on the Makushita yusho and promotion races. Key bouts in the lower divisions are usually scheduled on odd-numbered days, meaning that elimination round 5 was completed on Day 9.

Here’s how things played out:

Ms1w Shonannoumi put up a very good fight and briefly had former Ozeki Asanoyama (Ms4e) in trouble, but the latter prevailed to move on.

Ms23e Tamashoho got a belt grip, and that spelled the end for Ms15w Tanabe. Tamashoho will fight Asanoyama, who has a big advantage in size and talent, and matches up well on the belt, but will have to watch out for the smaller man’s leg trips.

Ms41w Mineyaiba blew away teenager Ms26e Setonoumi and will fight Ms49w Chiyonokatsu, who overcame Ms60e Omoto.

So on Day 11 we will have two semifinals, whose winners will fight on Day 13 for all the marbles:

Asanoyama vs. Tamashoho

Mineyaiba vs. Chiyonokatsu

With no undefeated rikishi left at Ms6-Ms15, any promotions to Juryo will come from the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone. We know at least one spot will be open due to Chiyotairyu’s sudden retirement. It’s too early to tell how many other openings there might be. Asanoyama can guarantee promotion by winning out, and is all but certain to go up with 6 wins, but things would get a lot more dicey should he somehow end the basho 5-2. Shonannoumi is also in good shape despite his loss, but needs one more win to solidify his case. The other one-loss man is former Juryo regular Ms5w Hakuyozan, whose rank at the very bottom of the promotion zone likely means he needs to win out.

Top-ranked Ms1e Shiden (2-3) lost his first crossover bout yesterday to J14e Tsushimanada, and now he must win out. I am expecting his next bout to come against another endangered Juryo rikishi. Ms2w Fujiseiun (3-2) probably also needs to win out to have a realistic shot at promotion. The M3 duo of Tokihayate and Daiseiryu, must win out to keep chair chances alive and hope for favorable results elsewhere.

None of the contenders are in action on Day 10, so the next update should come after Day 11 bouts are completed.

One thought on “Makushita Final Four

  1. At least we won’t have to worry about Tamashoho being intimidated. Facing Tamawashi every single day in training would tend to build up one’s temperamental resilience.

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