Things are coming down to the wire in the Makushita yusho and promotion races. After ten days and five rounds of action, we have four undefeated rikishi, who will fight it out for the title.
Here’s the bracket:
- Ms1e Tokihayate vs. Ms28w Kitadaichi
- Ms37w Kayo vs. Ms54w Tochiseiryu
Tokihayate is the clear favorite, and he has already done enough to bounce right back up after his unsuccessful Juryo debut in May. Kayo is a solid prospect from Nishonoseki beya who debuted at Sd90TD a little over a year ago and has struggled a bit after reaching the upper half of Makushita. The other two semifinalists are lower-division journeymen.
As mentioned above, Ms1e Tokihayate (5-0) is a lock for promotion to Juryo, taking the spot of absent Fujiseiun. There are enough bad records in lower Juryo that a few more promotion slots should open. And we have 5 rikishi who are still in contention for any openings and will be looking to rack up wins in their final two bouts. In rough order of likelihood, they are Ms3e Onosato (3-2), Ms3w Mukainakano (3-2), Ms2w Kiryuko (2-3), Ms4w Takahashi (3-2) and Ms5e Ishizaki (3-2).
Day 11 action will help to sort out the promotion/demotion picture. Takahashi is visiting Juryo, where he will try to get his all-important 4th win while dealing J11w Tsushimanada (2-8) his 9th loss, which would put the latter on the brink of demotion. Onosato and Ishizaki are matched head-to-head (Ishizaki took their prior bout in May); a win by Onosato would keep him at the head of the promotion queue and all-but-eliminate Ishizaki, while the opposite result is less decisive. Kiryuko will seek to avoid make-koshi and elimination from contention against Ms6e Kazekeno, while Mukainakano will go for kachi-koshi against Ms9w Hitoshi. Come back tomorrow to see how everything turns out!