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  • Fantasy Basho

Aki 2023 Day Nine




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

8 Wins

22 Maegashira #7 East Takayasu

38 Maegashira #15 East Atamifuji


7 Wins

41 Maegashira #16 West Tsurugisho


6 Wins

02 Ozeki #1 East Kirishima

03 Ozeki #1 West Takakeisho

06 Sekiwake #1 West Wakamotoharu

10 Maegashira #1 East Hokutofuji

18 Maegashira #5 East Gonoyama

20 Maegashira #6 East Onosho

29 Maegashira #10 West Endo

34 Maegashira #13 East Myogiryu


Notable Maneuvers

Makiotoshi. It was almost blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but Midorifuji very cleverly beat Shonannoumi with the inside twist down. He reached for the front of the mawashi and pulled across himself to send Shonannoumi down.


Match of the Day

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka versus 04 Ozeki #2 West Hoshoryu

It's fair to say Hoshoryu has had some tough luck in his Ozeki debut, but it's also fair to say he's been just off his game. Against Kotonowaka, he wrapped the larger man from the jump in a good hold, and then Kotonowaka broke it. The sent them moving, which should favor the Mongolian. Instead, Hoshoryu was just out of control. Kotonowaka was able to redirect him at the edge. The gyoji did point to Hoshoryu because it was that close. In reality, he had a bad view of Kotonowaka's foot, and a mono-ii quickly declared Kotonowaka did not step out first.


Recap

Not only did Atamifuji and Takayasu both win, they won convincingly. Atamifuji grabbed Kinbozan early and walked the big Kazakh back for a simple yorikiri. Takayasu only had more trouble with Kotoeko by comparison, as he needed a moment or two to get the grip that ensured his force out victory. The schedulers have decided to have one 9-1 rikishi after Day 10, because Atamifuji and Takayasu will square off.


So it's probably best to leave further discussion of those two until tomorrow, and instead look at Tsurugisho. Thanks to losses from Wakamotoharu, Gonoyama, and Myogiryu, he is the one rikishi with two losses after 9 matches. From the simple perspective of math, he is obviously in a great position in the yusho race. He also has handed Atamifuji his only loss on Day Five. A slip up by the winner of the Takayasu-Atamifuji clash puts him in the lead if he can keep winning. No one else on the Banzuke can say that.


On the other hand, his performance so far is a shocker. Keeping it up would be something else entirely. The 32 year old barely held on to a Makuuchi slot after a 5-10 in Nagoya, and he has split his time between Juryo and Makuuchi since his Maegashira debut in September 2019. Speaking of that basho, his 10-5 then is still his best career top-division record. His career high rank is Maegashira #7. Tsurugisho's style of sumo is best described as "have mass, will be tough to move."


Even comparing him to the other most notable surprise lower Maegashira yusho puts Tsurugisho at a disadvantage. The recently retired Tokushoryu won the January 2020 Emperor's Cup from Maegashira #17 after a middling career. Still, Tokushoryu had a Jun-Yusho to his name before then, as well as achieving a career high rank of Maegashira #4. Tokushoryu had also spent more time as a Maegashira before then than Tsurugisho has. Tokushoryu was the biggest surprise champion in modern history, but he was a better bet before the Hatsu 2020 basho than Tsurugisho is for this basho.


Despite the unlikelihood of Tsurugisho's success, he may be able to decide his own fate. A Takayasu win on Day Ten will likely mean he faces Tsurugisho sooner rather than later. If Tsurugisho keeps winning, that will put him in the leader position. He doesn't need to have too much else to happen. He just needs to keep performing like he has. Of course, if winning a yusho was as simple as "just keep it up," then people wouldn't fall apart in the second week so often. The important thing is Tsurugisho has a chance at the yusho. Somehow.

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