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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2023 Day Seven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

7 wins 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji


6 wins 08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho 23 Maegashira #7 West Takayasu


Notable Maneuvers

Fusensho. Nishikigi gets the first freebie win for an opponent pulling out. But it's a significant withdrawal, as Takakeisho has left the basho with a meniscus problem. His Yokozuna chance is done for now and he will be a kadoban Ozeki for Natsu.


Match of the Day

23 Maegashira #7 West Takayasu versus 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji

Takayasu and Midorifuji arrived to Day 7 undefeated, and they had a good if brief match to see who would walk out 7-0. Takayasu began with a heavy forearm blast that rocked Midorifuji back. Yet the Isegahama man came back by keeping Takayasu's arms up and away from his mawashi. That made Takayasu lose his balance and Midorifuji was able to win with a nifty tsukiotoshi.


Recap

After beating Takayasu and seeing Daieisho fall later to Wakamotoharu, Midorifuji stands as the sole undefeated rikishi and lone leader for the Haru basho. There are many reasons to discount Midorifuji's chances for a yusho. His best Makuuchi performance ever has been 10 wins. His record against the top ranked men is not suggestive of someone who will keep it up against Sanyaku wrestlers. He is also slightly undersized and relies on clever use of techniques. Also, winning a yusho is very difficult.

The two men behind him on the yusho arasoi know this well. Takayasu famously has never won a yusho, despite racking up 7 runner-up performances and being one of the signature rikishi of the last five years in sumo. Daieisho does have a yusho in his past, as well as a jun-yusho. He has also faced the tougher second week slate that crushes a Maegashira's hopes for an Emperor's Cup. Midorifuji is sitting pretty now, but he still has a lot of work to do.

In a normal basho, Midorifuji would have to jump up to face Sanyaku. If he does well against Komusubi and Sekiwake, he would then have to topple Ozekis and Yokozunas to maintain his yusho pursuit. For Haru, Midorifuji won't see any Ozeki or Yokozuna. The one Yokozuna missed the entire tournament, and the sole Ozeki just withdrew. Still, Midorifuji has yet to beat anyone above Maegashira #4. To lift the Emperor's Cup, he'll need to knock off men ranked well above him.

The Sanyaku and upper Maegashira have been beating each other up, but that doesn't mean they aren't formidable opponents. Abi has been showing his good form the past week, but Shodai handled his tsuppari and pushed him back on Day Seven. The Komusubi trio of Kotonowaka, Wakamotoharu, and Daieisho are in the yusho race, while the fourth Komusubi is Tobizaru, a man no one likes facing. The Sekiwake have not performed as well in Haru, but no one should take even possibly hobbled Wakatakakage, Hoshoryu, and Kiribayama lightly.

Midorifuji might not have to face all of those wrestlers listed above, but he'll see quite a few of them if he keeps winning. That's the real task. On Day Eight, Midorifuji faces veteran Maegashira Aoiyama. He must win that match and the next one and the next one for any of the above speculation to matter. Midorifuji is sitting atop the leaderboard undefeated, but he has plenty of work ahead to stay there through Day Fifteen.
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