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Kyushu 2022 Day Eight




Yusho Arasoi

7 wins

05 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

11 Maegashira #1 East Takayasu

28 Maegashira #9 West Abi

36 Maegashira #13 West Oho


6 wins

02 Ozeki East Takakeisho

20 Maegashira #5 West Nishikifuji


Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.



Notable Manuevers

Fusen. Kagayaki gets the first freebie win in Makuuchi for Kyushu, after Chiyotairyu's sudden retirement. Chiyotairyu will be opening a restaurant in Tokyo, so don't expect to see the sideburns in Oyakata blue.


Match of the Day

Maegashira #1 East Takayasu versus Komusubi #1 West Kiribayama

These two keep showing up here, and today was a demonstration why. Takayasu had a full-force shoulder blast, but Kiribayama was ready for it. This quickly turned into one of those pushing/shoving matches built around attempting and blocking throws. Then Takayasu got sideways, Kiribayama charged, Takayasu reestablished himself, and they established the kind of awkward double grip that only these two seem to enjoy. That led to more movement around the dohyo until Takayasu he's still sumo's marathon man with sukuinage.


Recap

The four leaders won again on Day Eight, so Hoshoryu, Takayasu, Abi, and Oho still form a one-loss quartet. The two-loss pack is now just Takakeisho and Nishikifuji, which does make the yusho race slightly more focused than yesterday. Largely, though, the middle day of Kyushu has left it looking similar, although all four leaders showed good sumo to keep their lead. At this point, it's worth thinking about the other end of things.

Two current Maegashira are guaranteed to be out of Makuuchi in January. One is Chiyotairyu, who just retired with two wins from Maegashira #12. He will be off the Banzuke entirely, and he was likely not that long for Makuuchi anyway. The other is Terutsuyoshi, who got his eighth loss from Maegashira #16. That guarantees a make-koshi and demotion to Juryo even if he wins out, and Terutsuyoshi does not look like he will perform that well. That means maybe just one or two demotions are open for Maegashira.

The men in the most trouble are Atamifuji and Azumaryu. Atamifuji is an exciting young prospect who is clearly still learning how to fight grown men in the top division. Azumaryu is a stolid veteran who knows how to use his limited gifts to be about the 40th to 50th best rikishi in sumo. Both wrestlers have the chance to save their Maegashira ranks. Atamifuji is at 3-5, so a 5-2 finish guarantees safety and 4-3 may do it. Azumaryu sits at 4-4, but has never had a winning record in Makuuchi. The other lower Maegashira in typical demotion range (Ichiyamamoto, Kagayaki, and Hiradoumi), are all sitting with winning records after eight matches.

There is one more man in serious trouble. Maegashira #8 East Takarafuji is currently winless. 2-13 or worse would certainly shoot him way down the rankings. If the lower Maegashira collectively pull through over the final week and Takarafuji keeps faltering, the veteran Isegahama man could be out of Makuuchi for the first time in a decade. With Chiyotairyu already out, another veteran Maegashira could be due for retirement if Takarafuji does not improve.

And so maybe the full changing of the guard is here. Oho and Hiradoumi are two young Maegashira establishing their Makuuchi bonafides. Kotonowaka and Nishikifuji are in their mid-twenties and looking like they'll soon be in Sanyaku. In the named ranks, Hoshoryu is in his first real yusho race. These men are the future of sumo, and Kyushu could be when the future becomes the present.
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