Two days remain.
M1e Takayasu leads with 11 wins, followed by O1e Takakeisho, S1w Hoshoryu, M9w Abi, and M13w Oho with 10. Still in it mathematically are M15e Kagayaki and M16w Hiradoumi with 9 wins. The leader, having faced (and beaten) everyone else except Abi (and Hiradoumi), gets Kagayaki tomorrow, and likely Abi on Sunday. He controls his own destiny. The chasers are paired up: Takakeisho with Oho and Hoshoryu with Abi, while Hiradoumi fights Nishikifuji. A win by Takayasu would leave him in the lead, with only two chasers, while a big upset by Kagayaki would open the race up significantly going into the final day, with the possibility of an epic multi-way playoff.
We have two confirmed Sekiwake for January: S1w Hoshoryu (10-3) and O1w Shodai (5-8), who will have the customary one shot to regain his rank with 10 wins. S1e Wakatakakage (7-6) can join them with one more win, and will be ranked no lower than Komusubi. For S2w Mitakeumi (6-7), two wins save his rank, one loss drops him to Komusubi, and two drop him to maegashira.
K1e Tamawashi (4-9) and and K2e Tobizaru (5-8) will both lose their ranks, while K1w Kiribayama (8-5) will keep his. K2w Daieisho (6-7) must win out to stay Komusubi. Tournament leader M1e Takayasu (11-2) will return to san’yaku.
For those who are counting, that’s at least 5 lower san’yaku rikishi for Hatsu: Hoshoryu, Shodai, Wakatakakage, Kiribayama, and Takayasu. Mitakeumi and Daieisho have a chance of joining them. That probably means that M1w Kotonowaka (8-5) is out of luck, and will once again receive only a half-rank-promotion despite deserving better, although there are scenarios that could see him at Komusubi.
Makuuchi to Juryo
Chiyotairyu’s retirement opens up one slot in the top division. M16e Terutsuyoshi (0-13) and M15w Atamifuji (3-10) will be vacating two more. M8e Takarafuji (2-11) still needs at least one more win to stay, and probably two, depending on the strength of the promotion cases. So we’ll have at least three promotions, and possibly four, as all other incumbents are safe. The current ranked list of promotion contenders is as follows: 1. Tsurugisho, 2. Hokuseiho, 3. Chiyomaru. 4. Mitoryu, 5. Akua, 6. Bushozan. Wouldn’t it be something to see Hokuseiho make his top-division debut?