Hatsu Leaderboard Day 11

Photo Courtesy of Sumo Soul

At the start of act 3, there has been little material change in the leaderboard, with the exception of Chiyonokuni picking up his second loss, and sustaining a knee injury at the end of his match with Ikioi. As Chiyonokuni is already kachi-koshi, we expect him to be kyujo for the remainder of Hatsu. That would leave Tamawashi 2 wins behind, and relegate the yusho question to if Hakuho will go 15-0 again.

On the topic of Hakuho, he reached his “Yokozuna kachi-koshi” on day 10, racking up his 10th win of the tournament, and his 28th consecutive win counting all tournaments. For a rikishi of 33 years, that is bordering on the unbelievable. Fans are still waiting for what could be this tournament’s ultimate test-match: Hakuho vs Takakeisho. We expect that to happen before Saturday, and may represent the best outlier chance of putting dirt on “The Boss”

Leader: Hakuho
Hunt Group: Chiyonokuni (kyujo?), Tamawashi

5 Matches Remain

Hatsu Leaderboard Day 10

As we close out act 2, we have a very clear picture of the yusho race. In a nut shell, it’s Hakuho’s to lose. The dai-Yokozuna is a brutally skilled competitor, and after a couple of shaky matches to start the basho, he is dispatching all opponents with flair and style. For any other rikishi to have even a chance of contending for the cup, Hakuho would need to lose 2 matches. Short of injury over the next 6 days, that would be unlikely.

The only chaser is a resurgent Chiyonokuni, who while performing well, would likely prove no real challenge for Hakuho. Though a match between Hakuho and Yago would be interesting.

But the more interesting story might be Takakeisho’s bid to become Ozeki. After his 13 wins to take the Kyushu yusho, his magic number to reach 33 is 11 during the Hatsu basho. Headed into day 10. he is 7-2, and needs 4 wins over the next 6 days. But he has Takayasu and Hakuho to face. He last faced Hakuho at Aki, for a loss. After their initial match during Nagoya 2017, each subsequent bout has seen Takakeisho coming closer to presenting a worthy challenge. We expect the Takakeisho / Hakuho to be one of the highlights of act 3, and may happen as soon as day 11.

Leader: Hakuho
Chaser: Chiyonokuni
Hunt Group: Takakeisho, Tamawashi, Kaisei, Yago

6 Matches Remain