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  • Fantasy Basho

Aki 2023 Day Two



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Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Hikkake. Tobizaru is generally good at the ole, but here he seemed like torero about to get gored by the bull Tamawashi. Then he just teleported to the side enough to win with an arm grabbing force out. Afterwards, Tamawashi was surprised he went over and out.


Match of the Day

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka versus 13 Maegashira #2 West Asanoyama

It wasn't just that this looked Kotonowaka's match, but that it would be a boring yorikiri. Instead, Asanoyama regained himself at the edge, pushed back, and moved the match back to the middle of the ring. That put Kotonowaka on the defensive, and he turned the match around again from the edge of the dohyo. At that point, Asanoyama threw the quite large Kotonowaka around and down with an uwatenage. These two both looked like championship contenders in this one.


Recap

The story of this Aki basho was always going to be around the strength of the Ozeki corps. With sole Yokozuna Terunofuji once again out injured, they represent the top-ranked rikishi in this tournament. Two of them, Kirishima and Takakeisho, are kadoban and need 8 wins to stay at Ozeki. The other one, Hoshoryu, is newly promoted. So far, it's a decidedly mixed bag. Kirishima is in pole position with a 2-0 record, while Hoshoryu and Takakeisho sit at 1-1.


Kirishima handled Meisei, and he looks to be fully fit and ready to go for Aki. Hokutofuji's upset of Hoshoryu is the result of the day, although the match was ugly. Hoshoryu was on his skates early, and Hokutofuji took advantage with a slap-down. That followed Hokutofuji's similarly ugly but effective defeat of Takakeisho on Day One. Takakeisho rebounded from that by looking by himself against Nishikigi. He slapped and pushed until Nishikigi got off balance for a thrustdown.


These three will set the tone for the basho day after day. If Kirishima keeps winning, he will be the favorite and earn a target on his back as the highest-ranked sumotori still competing. Takakeisho and Hoshoryu aren't going anywhere soon. And considering both men fell to Hokutofuji, never lose sight of the fact that whoever does defeat an Ozeki is making an immediate impact on the yusho race and boosting their own chances.


Elsewhere, the most impressive looking rikishi has been Asanoyama. He won a great battle with Kotonowaka on Day Two after beating another Sekiwake in Wakamotoharu on Day One. He gets to face Nishikigi on Day Three, slowly working his way up the basho. The other Maegashira who looks like he could rack up some wins is Atamifuji. From the bottom of the Banzuke, the youngster is looking like he could dominate a group of rikishi looking desperately to hang on to Maegashira status. Onosho, Takayasu, Kinbozan, Mitakeumi, and Sadanoumi are also 2-0 without the eye test quality of Asanoyama or Atamifuji.


Someone who is neither an Ozeki nor undefeated right now still does have a shot at lifting the Emperor's Cup with 13 days left. That's just a different proposition. Each day moves the yusho chances around for everyone ever so slightly. It's easier to see with Ozeki, but it's happening everywhere on the Banzuke. And it will keep happening every day.

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