I previewed the Makushita yusho and promotion races yesterday. There were some consequential bouts on Day 7, so here’s a brief update. In the undefeated bracket, Ms1e Hakuyozan (4-0) easily ran his record against Ms7e Chiyonoumi (3-1) to 13-0 to stay in the yusho race and clinch an immediate return to Juryo. The only other man with a shot at the automatic promotion that comes with a 7-0 record in the top 15 ranks is the September yusho winner, Ms11e Kitaharima (4-0), who still has a chance to earn a record-tying 9th promotion to Juryo. The other two 4-0 rikishi are journeyman Ms21e Narutaki and the latest Isegahama prospect, 19-year-old Ms42w Satorufuji, whose career record stands at 27-5. They will be joined in the quarterfinals by the three rikishi from the six-deep 3-0 group who prevail in their Day 8 bouts (plus the highest-ranked undefeated Sandanme rikishi).
In the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone, the above-mentioned Hakuyozan is going up, and top Isegahama prospect Ms1w Takerufuji (3-1) is in good shape for a sekitori debut, needing just one more win. Everyone else likely needs to win at least two out of three to have a shot.
In Juryo, 4 men have started to separate themselves from the pack in the race for top-division promotion. They are the recently demoted J1e Aoiyama, J1w Kotoshoho, and J2e Bushozan, all 5-2, and uber-prospect J5e Onosato (6-1), who leads the second-division yusho race.
At the other end of the spectrum, absent J6w Hakuoho, J8e Chiyomaru, and J14w Azumaryu are all set to be demoted to Makushita, and debutant J11e Hitoshi (1-6) will be hard-pressed to find the wins he needs to stay while fighting on one ankle. Also struggling to stay above the demotion line is J14e Chiyosakae (3-4). More updates as the division exchange races unfold.