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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2023 Day Twelve

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

10 wins

08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho

19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji

9 wins

05 Sekiwake #2 East Kiribayama

06 Komusubi #1 East Wakamotoharu

07 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka

Notable Maneuvers

Kotenage. There three, count 'em, arm lock throws on Day Twelve, which is always a good thing on a day of sumo if no one gets hurt because of one. And one of them capped a great match. (See below.)

Match of the Day

18 Maegashira #5 East Kotoshoho versus 25 Maegashira #8 West Ura

Ura did his up-and-under thing, which mostly resulted in Kotoshoho wrapping his right arm around Ura's left. So Ura broke the hold and did his remarkable parrying thrusts to not let someone get any kind of grip. Still, Kotoshoho is bigger and strong, which meant he could take Ura to the edge. So Ura stepped sideways and did his remarkable tawara dance and returned to center. Kotosho kept trying to get that grip around Ura's left arm, which Ura kept blocking and spinning away from. After moving around the dohyo, Kotoshoho got inside. So Kotoshoho wrapped his right arm around Ura's left and did a remarkable kotenage that flipped Ura completely over.


Daieisho won his next match on Day Thirteen. He kept up his strong performance with a basic oshidashi win that saw Hokutofuji get nothing going. That put the pressure on Midorifuji, who needed to beat Wakatakakage to remain as sole leader of the Haru basho. Wakatakakage showed perhaps his best sumo of March by focusing on Midorifuji's center mass even as Midorifuji wanted to shift around for a grip or throw or trip. In the end, Wakatakakage got the overarm throw for the win. Daieisho and Midorifuji now both sit at 10-2 with three days left.

Sitting immediately behind the winners are three extremely dangerous Sanyaku wrestlers. Sekiwake Kiribayama, Komusubi Wakamotoharu, and Komusubi Kotonowaka are all performing well at Haru after multiple tournaments of strong performances. Kiribayama beat Hoshoryu with a nice throw in a well-fought match that gave him an inside advantage on the basho and possibly escalated their rivalry. Kotonowaka handed Daieisho one of his two losses, and he is the most fundamentally sound wrestler in sumo right now. Wakamotoharu continues to succeed by never beating himself and keeping focused on the opponent's center mass.

That's also how his brother Wakatakakage got to Sekiwake, and he is looking back on form after entering Haru injured. He can't win the yusho from 6-6, but he's going to have a say in who does. He's facing Kotonowaka on Friday, while he still has yet to see either of his fellow Sekiwake Hoshoryu or Kiribayama. Those matches will matter, especially as Kiribayama has faced Wakamotoharu and Kotonowaka. He gets Endo on Day Thirteen, but also still needs to see Daieisho this tournament and hasn't seen Midorifuji.

Midorifuji gets Hoshoryu on Day Thirteen, and Hoshoryu could effectively end his yusho chances. What Midorifuji did over the first ten days was remarkable, and that's not something to gloss over. But the last two days have shown he may not be ready to tangle with Sanyaku wrestlers and win consistently quite yet. (Or he can't beat the Onami brothers yet, but the Wakas of Arashio-beya were also his highest ranked opponents.) Yet his task remains what it has always been. Win the next match, and he remains atop the leaderboard.

The same is true for Daieisho now. He will see Meisei on Day Thirteen, but he has not yet encountered either Kiribayama or Midorifuji. In some order, that's almost guaranteed to be Daieisho's final two opponents. What everyone in sumo wants is for the final day to have a matchup that can decide the yusho for either man. We're possibly headed to a wealth of playoff possibilities. But how that can all shake out depends on Day Thirteen's results. Watch who is able to just win his next match.
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