With two days to go, it’s time for a quick look at where the various storylines stand.
Facing his first Ozeki was too much for young M15e Atamifuji (10-3), and he is now tied for the lead with O1w Takakeisho. M7e Takayasu lost again, but is still in the race as part of a four-man chase group that also includes S1e Daieisho, M10e Kinbozan, and M11w Hokuseiho (raise your hand if you had the last two in the yusho race on Day 13). A whopping 11 rikishi two back at 8-5 are not mathematically out of it yet, but the yusho scoreline is very unlikely to drop to 10 unless all six men ahead of them lose tomorrow. Tomorrow, Takakeisho draws O2w Hoshoryu (6-7), whose back is to the wall, while Atamifuji gets his first bout with M2e Abi (8-5).
Takakeisho and Kirishima (8-5) have cleared kadoban, while Hoshoryu (6-7) must win out to avoid being kadoban in November.
S1e Daieisho (9-4) and S1w Wakamotoharu (8-5) will keep their rank. Shin-sekiwake S2w Kotonowaka (7-6) needs one more win to maintain his career-high rank, and will not fall lower than Komusubi. K1e Nishikigi (5-8) will be back in the maegashira ranks, while K1w Tobizaru (6-7) must win out to avoid joining him. One or two Komusubi slots should open, unless Kotonowaka loses out and Tobizaru wins out. In any case, top maegashira M1e Hokutofuji (8-5) has clinched promotion even if that means creating an extra Komusubi slot. The other lead contenders for promotion are M2e Abi (8-5) and M2w Asanoyama (8-5).
We have three rock-solid demotions: absent M9w Hakuoho, lowest-ranked M17e Daishoho (3-10), and M15w Chiyoshoma (2-11), who’ll be in Juryo for the first time in three years. M16e Kagayaki (4-9) is also going down unless he gets very favorable banzuke luck. The other men who are in danger, and need two wins to ensure safety, are M14e Aoiyama (4-9), M13w Nishikifuji (4-9), and M14w Kotoshoho (5-8).
There’s quite a logjam in Juryo for any open slots, with about 8 rikishi in contention. The yusho leader, J7w Ichiyamamoto (12-1), should be a lock for promotion, and J3e Tomokaze (9-4) should finally be back in the top division after a four-year comeback, but the rest of the spots will be decided in the final two days of action.