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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2023 Day Eleven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

10 wins 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji


9 wins 08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho


8 wins 04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu 05 Sekiwake #2 East Kiribayama 06 Komusubi #1 East Wakamotoharu 07 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka 20 Maegashira #6 East Endo 40 Maegashira #16 East Chiyoshoma


Notable Maneuvers

Katasukashi. On the day Midorifuji took his first loss, Ura beat Shodai with a fantastic version of the Green Fuji's signature move. (And Midorifuji lost because Wakamotoharu saw it coming and tackled him out.)


Match of the Day

20 Maegashira #6 East Endo versus 04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

For a short match, this one had a lot going on to end Day Eleven. At the tachiai, Hoshoryu got off much more quickly. It almost looked like a matta, except replay showed Endo's hands were down and just didn't move that fast. Endo also seemed like he was maybe sidestepping, but Hoshoryu grabbed a hold of the back of Endo's mawashi. By all rights, that would end the match. Instead, Endo grabbed the back of Hoshoryu's mawashi, which required Hoshoryu to perform an even heavier uwatenage for a win.


Recap

Midorifuji finally took a loss. That is the big story of Day Eleven. Yet he also remains in control of the yusho race as the sole leader. His 10-0 beginning didn't vanish with his first loss, and everyone else is still looking up at him. In fact, he only has one rikishi immediately on his heels, Daieisho. Kotonowaka and Endo both lost on Day Eleven, which pulled them into the 8-3 pack.

The six men at 8-3 have a real shot at the yusho, although Midorifuji and Daieisho have better shots. This is especially true of the four Sanyaku men, Kiribayama, Hoshoryu, Kotonowaka, and Wakamotoharu. Wakamotoharu already displayed the advantage they have by beating Midorifuji on Day Eleven. Each of these men will be facing multiple fellow contenders over the final days of the basho. If they win out, not only will they land on 12 wins but pull others back in the standings.

Winning out is easier said than done for any individual wrestler, and all six will not win out. On Day Twelve, Kiribayama and Hoshoryu will fight. So do Endo and Wakamotoharu. The torikumi guarantees that two three loss rikishi will pick up their fourth loss on Day Twelve. The other leaders don't have easy matches. Midorifuji will face a 5-6 rikishi. That rikishi is also Sekiwake Wakatakakage, who has recovered from a 5 match losing streak to start Haru. Kotonowaka does get the 4-7 Meisei, who is capable of pulling out a win against anyone.

Daieisho might have the most interesting path forward. The schedulers are keeping him away from Midorifuji for now. He gets a challenge in Hokutofuji, a rikishi on a seven match winning streak, for Day Twelve. If he wins that oshi battle, presumably he'll see Kiribayama. Then he'll also see Midorifuji if the Isegahama man keeps winning. Yet that's two matches, and there are three more days in the basho. He's already faced Kotonowaka (Day 6 win), Wakamotoharu (Day 7 loss), and Hoshoryu (Day 10 loss).

The Haru basho's ending will be complicated, even if Midorifuji wins out. The last three days will have impactful matchups all over. Even if Kiribayama and Hoshoryu both fall one more loss behind in the yusho race, they'll be aiming for double-digit wins to keep Ozeki hopes alive. Kotonowaka and Wakamotoharu will be eyeing a Sekiwake rank in May. And all eight rikishi in the yusho race can still get a Special Prize.
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