- Fantasy Basho
Aki 2022 Day Twelve
PUBLIC LEAGUE LEADERBOARD
10 wins 15 Maegashira #3 East Tamawashi
9 wins 11 Maegashira #1 East Tobizaru 18 Maegashira #4 West Takayasu 26 Maegashira #8 West Hokutofuji 29 Maegashira #10 East Nishikifuji
Kubinage. How do you beat Shodai when he's got a solid mawashi grip and is backing you up? Well, if you're Hoshoryu, you just unleash a powerful neck throw, of course.
MATCH OF THE DAY
Maegashira #3 East Tamawashi versus Maegashira #6 East Wakamotoharu
Tamawashi got his nodowa and showed Wakamotoharu how far back he can push a man's jaw. Remarkably, Wakamotoharu took it in stride. While getting a view of the Kokugikan's ceiling, Wakamotoharu managed to get a mawashi grip. That led directly to a convincing yorikiri win.
The match from Day Twelve of the Aki 2022 basho that will likely be shown in replays more than any other is the Takakeisho-Hokutofuji anticlimax. Hokutofuji went forward with a strong tachiai, but forward was not where his opponent was. Takakeisho henkaed, although not in a dramatic way. He saw Hokutofuji coming dead ahead, he stepped left, hit him on the shoulder, and down went Hokutofuji. It's the kind of thing Ozeki and Yusho winners can avoid, but Hokutofuji fell for it and had an easy loss.
Of course, he wasn't the only man in the Yusho race to lose on Day Twelve, just the one who did it in the most egregious way. Tamawashi dropped his first career matchup with Wakatakakage, which meant he was set up to be a co-leader. Then Nishikifuji became Tobizaru's most recent victim in Aki, and Hokutofuji lost to Takakeisho. Those two remained one-loss back, joined by Tobizaru and Takayasu. Takayasu, meanwhile, sent Wakatakakage into the four man group two back.
That quartet at 8-4 are still in mathematical contention for the yusho, of course, but the possibilities get complicated because of how many men are ahead of them. Takakeisho and Wakatakakage are the musubi no ichiban for Day Thirteen, so one of the two Sanyaku men will fall back. Ryuden will face Endo, who he has never beaten in five tries. Takanosho gets the challenge of 7-5 Kotonowaka.
Kotonowaka could, in theory, still make a playoff for the yusho along with the other seven men who need one more win for a kachi-koshi. Those permutations are a little outlandish, beginning with Tamawashi needing to lose his last three and the 9-3 group all going 1-2 over the last three matches. But it's a sign of how chaotic Aki has been and how odd this yusho race is.
Don't think Day Thirteen will settle much. Tamawashi and Nishikifuji will have their first career matchup to impact the yusho race. Tobizaru and Hokutofuji will fight each other for their tenth win and a chance to stay in the hunt. Takayasu has to deal with the always dangerous Kiribayama. The Takakeisho-Wakatakakage clash gets to follow all of that. The Yusho Arasoi will be different with each day, but it isn't getting clear.