- Fantasy Basho
Aki 2022 Day Five
PUBLIC LEAGUE LEADERBOARD
15 Maegashira #3 East Tamawashi
26 Maegashira #8 West Hokutofuji
36 Maegashira #13 West Oho
02 Ozeki #2 East Takakeisho
06 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu
18 Maegashira #4 West Takayasu
21 Maegashira #6 East Wakamotoharu
29 Maegashira #10 East Nishikifuji
37 Maegashira #14 East Chiyoshoma
Katasukashi. Midorifuji busted out his signature under-shoulder swing down to beat Nishikigi, and it is always a fun watch.
MATCH OF THE DAY
Komusubi #2 West Kiribayama versus Komusubi #1 West Ichinojo
Kiribayama and Ichinojo had a sumo marathon, going over two minutes. Generally speaking, that should benefit the much bigger Ichinojo. However, Kiribyama looked comfortable in the three long stallouts, and every time he needed to reengage he did. After what should have worn him down, Kiribayama got a tighter grip on the mawashi and casually walked out Ichinojo.
Day Five of the Aki 2022 Banzuke may be a momentous day. The headline is that Tamawashi has, for the fourth time in a year, beaten the lone Yokozuna Terunofuji. That is not necessarily a sign Terunofuji is done for, as Tamawashi has a special power to defeat the Kaiju. Yet Terunofuji was also hobbling at the end of the match, after struggling to get his balance while holding onto Tamawashi. A Nokozuna rest of Aki is a much more live possibility than it was after Day Four.
Signs of big change could be spotted throughout the Banzuke. Young, rising star Atamifuji had his first match against Makuuchi opposition and beat Yutakayama. Many more wins are on the horizon for the 20 year old. Slightly older young stars Kotonowaka and Hoshoryu also knotched wins which showed how good they can be. Meanwhile, 22 year old Oho has a share of the lead while looking much better than he ever has in Makuuchi.
The men he shares the lead with are Tamawashi and Hokutofuji, neither of whom signal a changing of the guard is here. The 37 year old Tamawashi has had serious second-week issues for about the last year, which is understandable for someone well past his prime. Hokutofuji seems to be coming back to his upper Maegashira form after struggling with injury for a few months. Neither one is exactly the ideal candidate to continue to steamroll the rest of Makuuchi for ten more days.
Takakeisho is looming at the head of the 1-loss group. While not always just rolling over everyone, his power is definitely there for Aki. His shoves and slaps are loud, physical, and tough to deal with. This is the version of Takakeisho that has looked like the next Yokozuna for two years. If he maintains this form and Terunofuji is out, he becomes the favorite to win. If he can keep this form up for two basho, the Yokozuna promotion conversation becomes deafening.
One day of sumo usually is not that momentous. Terunofuji could take the dohyo again, manage his lower body issues, and be in the yusho hunt. He and Takakeisho have generally been even against each other. The youngsters will not have a day-by-day linear progression, and the veteran know-how of a Tamawashi, Takayasu, or Hokutofuji can beat the more athletic and youthful opponents on any day. But the signs of change are there.