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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2024 Day Eleven

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

11 Wins

42 Maegashira #17 East Takerufuji

9 Wins

19 Maegashira #5 West Onosato

8 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Hoshoryu

05 Ozeki #2 West Kotonowaka

21 Maegashira #6 West Gonoyama

25 Maegashira #8 West Takayasu

Notable Maneuvers

Yoritaoshi. Tobizaru was being thrown by Meisei, but then somehow lifted himself up and shoved hard while falling. This caused Meisei to go down first, and gave Tobiaru a frontal crush out win.

Match of the Day

42 Maegashira #17 East Takerufuji versus 05 Ozeki #2 West Kotonowaka

Takerufuji got his first test against an Ozeki, and he also got his first experience of being stood up in a Makuuchi match. Kotonowaka actually began moving Takerufuji backwards. Then Takerufuji regrouped and charged forward like he likes to. Kotonowaka began to turn him, but Takerufuji had his right arm under Kotonowaka's left well enough to block and keep up the charge for the victory.


He made it to 11 straight victories in his Makuuchi debut. Takerufuji's performance is already a stunning shin-Maegashira basho. Men who have literally never fought in Makuuchi should not step in and dominate a basho. Often, wrestlers will put up numbers from lower Maegashira when they debut, but they tend to get slapped down by Sanyaku men at this point in the basho. Takerufuji has now beaten a Komusubi and an Ozeki. He's passed his first hard tests.

Now he's guaranteed 11-4 and likely a Jun-Yusho at worst. The math is nearly impossible. Hoshoryu, Kotonowaka, Gonomaya, and Takayasu are all at 8-3. That's a strong record, and they've all guaranteed themselves a kachi-koshi. They also all need to win out and have Takerufuji lose out to get a yusho without a playoff. If they drop just one match, they will need Takerufuji to go 1-3 to force a playoff. If they lose two, they cannot win the yusho at all. That's the advantage Takerufuji has already built.

Onosato is the wrestler with the best shot at upsetting Takerufuji's miracle debut. Onosato is only in his second top-division tournament himself, and he is not even able to have a top-knot yet. So he isn't a veteran breathing down the neck of the youngster. An Onosato yusho would be remarkable. To do that, he needs Takerufuji to go 2-2 at best while winning out himself. Winning out is easier said than done, as he will see Ozeki Kotonowaka on Day Twelve and likely also gets Hoshoryu before he's done with the Haru basho. But Onosato dispatched an Ozeki on Day Eleven, taking a typical Takakeisho slap-battle and winning it by pushing harder.

Hoshoryu and Kotonowaka do get the best chance at upsetting the more recent debutants' party during Haru. For all the talk of youth, Hoshoryu is actually younger than Takerufuji by about six weeks, and Kotonowaka is only about 18 months older. Even the highly ranked veterans who could thwart the Takerufuji and Onosato yusho chances are not that old. The only 30-plus rikishi who has a slight chance is Takayasu, and he needs a ton of luck to even sniff a playoff.

Takerufuji is highly unlikely to get a zensho-yusho, simply because doing so is a remarkable and rare achievement in sumo. Yet winning your first eleven Makuuchi matches is also remarkabe and unbelievably rare. In fact, the last person to do that was Taiho in 1960. All he did was go on to be the winningest Yokozuna of all time when he retired. (Since passed by Hakuho, of course.) There were many differences, as Taiho was only 20 and sumo had only adopted the 15 bout a tournament schedule three years before. But that's what we have to go to for a comparison. That is how rare Takerufuji's performance has already been.

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