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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2023 Day Six




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

6 wins 08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji 23 Maegashira #7 West Takayasu


5 wins 12 Maegashira #2 East Abi 29 Maegashira #10 West Nishikifuji 35 Maegashira #13 West Kotoeko


Notable Maneuvers

Henka. There were three claims at a sidestep on Day Six. Kotoeko didn't exactly square up Kinbozan. Hokutofuji ended up sideways to Ura after an odd tachiai that might have been more on Ura. Hoshoryu seemed to know Onosho would come in low and had an easy win by moving slightly to the side.


Match of the Day

08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho versus 07 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka

Kotonowaka did what he was supposed to do by keeping his ground and not allowing Daieisho to unload his full tsuppari attack. Kotonowaka then grabbed a hold of Daieisho's mawashi, which should have been it. But Daieisho never let Kotonowaka get him moving, which gave Daieisho a small advantage. He turned Kotonowaka sideways for a thrust-down and a sixth straight win.


Recap

Daieisho is in pole position for the yusho, although certainly not in the clear, after six days. In a basho where many rikishi look like they are dealing with some lingering issues, the key fact is Daieisho is looking strong. Takakeisho, Wakatakakage, and Hoshoryu appear to have lower-leg issues, while Kiribayama picked up some kind of arm injury on Day Six. That doesn't make Daieisho's matches against fellow Sanyaku walk-overs, but they aren't the roadblocks they could be.

A bigger stumbling block could be fellow undefeated rikishi Takayasu. The Maegashira #7 West is looking back on his best form after missing the later part of Hatsu due to injuries. On Day SIx, he faced an eager and winless Ichiyamamoto who gave him everything. Takayasu was patient, steady, and got a grip that allowed him to get a simple throw for the win. Although he has notably never won a yusho, he has 7 jun-yusho to his name for a reason. Takayasu looks like he's in another yusho battle.

The third undefeated rikishi is Midorifuji, who is certainly the surprise contender for Haru 2023. Midorifuji has had a strong Maegashira career so far, but more in the able-to-hold-his-own-in-Makuuchi category than future-yusho-winner. The master of the katasukashi won over Endo with the under shoulder swing down on Endo, his first of the tournament. Midorifuji is somewhat undersized and reliant on tricks, which isn't usually a recipe for sustained success. He is also 26 and coming into his own, so he may be reaching a new level of sumo.

And one of Takayasu or Midorifuji will have one loss after Day Seven, because they will see each other. Whichever one joins the group at one loss will be a little behind the eight ball after a week. It will also setup some other intriguing matches with the rikishi at 5-1 right now. Abi is a recent yusho winner who has found his footwork again, while Nishikifuji and Kotoeko are fighting as well as they can. The middle weekend could be the defining moment of the basho.

That definition might also occur in Maegashira battles, coloring the Haru basho even more. Takakeisho's yokozuna hopes were probably already realistically done with his poor performance, but a third loss on Day Six killed them dead. The Sekiwake do not seem invincible and only Daieisho is looking like he might dominate. Yet with a variety of rikishi looking threatening, the chance of a Sanyaku yusho is slim and probably reliant solely on Daieisho.


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