- Fantasy Basho
Aki 2021 Day Seven
They officially said Daieisho beat Kiribayama by the simple hikiotoshi, or hand pull down. What really happened is that Daieisho's relentless pressure sent Kiribayama moving sideways consistently until one final shove from the side made him spin fall backwards while simultaneously spinning like a top.
Match of the Day
Maegashira 11 East Endo versus Maegashira 17 East Chiyonokuni
Endo wanted his trademark front-of-the-mawashi grip, while Chiyonokuni wanted a pushing battle. They sort of both got it. Chiyonokuni kept disrupting Endo's grappling attempts, while Endo kept regrouping and moving Chiyonokuni around. They went around the entire dohyo and had to regroup two or three times. Eventually, it was Endo's relentlessness that beat Chiyonokuni's tirelessness with a strong yorikiri.
Now he's beginning to run away with it. Terunofuji is sitting at 7-0 after a nice win over Kotonowaka. He didn't have an easy match, as the young Kokonoe man disrupted the Yokozuna's gameplan. In the end, though, Terunofuji found himself escoting Kotonowaka to the edge. He is the only wrestler sitting on 7 wins.
And just one has 6 wins. Myogiryu has performed exceedingly well, and he looks quite spry for a 34 year old who hasn't had a winning record in three basho. His win over Shimanoumi on Day Seven was simple and efficient. There's no reason to think he will falter over week two. There's also no reason to think that he will keep it enough to challenge Terunofuji. Myogiryu is a strong, agile veteran with worlds of experience, but he just isn't likely to win out.
There is a strong group at 5 wins, but the Chiyonokuni versus Endo and Daieisho versus Kiribayama matches show why anyone winning is unlikely. Chiyonokuni and Kiribayama fell to two losses after extremely tough matches. Endo and Daieisho are still in the hunt. All four rikishi now stand at 5-2. The entire Makuuchi division below Terunofuji appears a little too even right now.
This says nothing of Mitakeumi's weak loss to Ichinojo. The giant Mongolian didn't necessarily overpower Mitakeumi, but the match was never in the Sekiwake's favor. Similar hiccups have befallen Ozeki Shodai at times. Both Mitakeumi and Shodai could beat anyone, but they also seem like they could drop any match at any time. Takakeisho meanwhile has his power occasionally, but does seem to be bothered enough with his knees that he isn't able to do anything when going backwards.
Terunofuji's position is extremely strong. And anyone who is the sole Yokozuna and sole undefeated rikishi is the obvious favorite. More importantly, anyone in that position has just one task to get the yusho. Terunofuji simply needs to win his next match. Everyone else has to hope he doesn't.