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  • Fantasy Basho

Aki 2023 Day Eleven

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

10 Wins

38 Maegashira #15 East Atamifuji

8 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Takakeisho

22 Maegashira #7 East Takayasu

41 Maegashira #16 West Tsurugisho

Notable Maneuvers

Uwatenage. Atamifuji beat Tobizaru with the kind of throw that only happens when a very large man gets a solid grasp and gets to perform a textbook throw on a much smaller man.

Match of the Day

16 Maegashira #4 East Takanosho versus 04 Ozeki #2 West Hoshoryu

Maybe it's unfair to say Takanosho should have had this one. But the pusher had the grappling Ozeki in a better hold shortly after the tachiai. Takanosho had a deep grip with his right on Hoshoryu's mawashi, and Hoshoryu had to lean awkwardly. Takanosho even kept his angle such that his legs were away from any possible leg trips. Instead, he began muscling Hoshoryu backwards. And Hoshoryu managed to turn around the match with a throw while going backwards. There was a long mono-ii, but the shimpan agreed the gyoji got it right by saying Hoshoryu kept his feet in.


Atamifuji is still sitting on top of the leaderboard. In fact, his first match against a Sanyaku man didn't even seem to trouble him much. Atamifuji looked like the long-time veteran who is always dangerous to any opponent swatting away the upstart lower Maegashira. A man that large, strong, and young should not be showing such veteran command of the yusho. This may be Atamifuji's secret weapon this basho, and possibly moving forward.

He also now has a two-loss lead over everyone else. Takayasu put up the kind of fight against Daieisho that makes it look like the former Ozeki can't put up his best fight. Daieisho got to his side with a pushing attack a little too easily, and Takayasu either had one of those days two days in row or is struggling with a minor injury. He also was struggling with minor injuries in 2022 when he was probably the second best rikishi in sumo. He could recover enough from whatever troubles him to win out.

Yet being two behind with four days left means winning out is almost a requirement for a yusho chance. Atamifuji could go 1-3 with a much tougher slate, but he's not fighting like it. Takayasu also isn't the only man at 8-3. Takakeisho and Tsurugisho are at the same place in the yusho race from opposite ends of the Banzuke. Each of the three rikishi on three losses need to hope the other two slip up at some point, as well as needing Atamifuji to lose twice.

On Day Twelve, the matchups mean the leaderboard could hold. Atamifuji will get a Sekiwake challenge from Daieisho, who just blew up Takayasu's yusho chances. Takakeisho will see another Sekiwake in Kotonowaka. Takayasu will battle the dangerous NIshikigi (who he also holds a 5-0 career advantage over). Tsurugisho must deal with Ura. None of those are slam-dunk wins for the leaders, but they are all manageable wins with the way they've performed. The yusho race at the end of Day Twelve could look a lot like the end of Day Thirteen.

Of course, it could also blow up and provide an opening to the rikishi at 7-4. The 11 rikishi in that position could all thread the needle by winning out and hoping Atamifuji goes 1-3 or worse. That requires all of the 8-3 rikishi to slip as well and bank on a wild 11-4 playoff battle. Yet many of the 7-4 men have a chance to make that happen. Daieisho can make a difference on Day Twelve. Kirishima is likely to still face both Takakeisho and Atamifuji if they all keep winning. We're on a knife's edge between Atamifuji crusing to the Emperor's Cup and a wild free-for-all.

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