Hatsu 2020 Day Fourteen Recap
Just one day left, and remarkably no final conclusion on the yusho race, although the matter did get a bit clearer. There's still plenty going on for Day Fifteen.
The Yusho Race
Tokushoryu became sole leader by defeating Shodai in rather remarkable fashion. Shodai had the match, but Tokushoryu rallied back around and moved Shodai to the side and down. Now, the last man on the Makuuchi Banzuke, Tokushoryu at Maegashira 17 West, is in pole position for the Emperor's Cup.
Takakeisho's loss to Asanoyama means he is mathematically eliminated, but he still gets to play spoiler, as Tokushoryu will be his opponent in the Musubi no Ichiban on Day Fifteen.
If Takakeisho wins and Shodai defeats Mitakeumi, then Shodai gets another shot at Tokushoryu in a playoff for the yusho. A Shodai loss earlier in the day. guarantees Tokushoryu the championship.
Sanyaku for Haru
There are still multiple candidates for Komusubi at Haru. Endo, Hokutofuji, and Shodai all have a claim for Sanyaku, while the Sekiwake positions will be locked down by Asanoyama and Goeido. Of course, they've had 4 Komusubi in recent history (November), so they could do something similar. Endo, Hokutofuji, and Shodai could all three strengthen their claim for Sanyaku with another win.
Three different matchups on Day Fifteen are between two 7-7 wrestlers, Chiyotairyu vs. Kaisei, Takanosho vs. Ikioi, and Okinoumi vs. Azumaryu. They are all fighting for a kachi-koshi, as are Mitakeumi and Shohozan. The last two have fought each other already, so Shohozan faces Endo and Mitakeumi faces Shodai.
The kachi-koshi requirement of 8 wins is the biggest milestone any rikishi can hit, but larger win totals can mean big things, too. Asanoyama, Kagayaki, and Tochiozan are all on 9 wins, and can get to double digits. That sometimes puts a wrestler in contention for Special Prizes, although that's a crowded field. (Shodai and Tokushoryu will almost certainly get something, while Endo began the basho with two straight kinboshi. Hokutofuji could also land on 12 wins with a kinboshi.)
Juryo Demotion and Promotion
What will happen with the wrestlers going down to the second division and those popping up is still a muddle. Tsurugisho somehow pulled out a win with his damaged knee, giving him five wins at Maegashira 12. That usually means safety. The same cannot be said for Kotoeko, who at best will have 3 wins if he pulls one out tomorrow. Everyone else seems relatively safe, although Ikioi and Kaisei would feel better at 8-7 rather than 7-8.
Those who might take spots are less obvious. Nishikigi and Daiamami have 10 wins at Juryo 4 and Juryo 6, which has some precedence. Kotonowaka could get 8 wins tomorrow with a Juryo 2 rank. The best performer is Terunofuji, who has got one loss (against Nishikigi on Day Fourteen) from down at Juryo 13. That would be an odd foursome for promotion, but it might make the most sense.