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  • Fantasy Basho

Haru 2024 Day Nine




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

9 Wins

42 Maegashira #17 East Takerufuji


8 Wins

19 Maegashira #5 West Onosato


7 Wins

04 Ozeki #2 East Takakeisho

05 Ozeki #2 West Kotonowaka

32 Maegashira #12 East Shonannoumi


Notable Maneuvers

Katasukashi. Midorifuji is the master of the under-shoulder swing down, and he put dirt on an Ozeki by unleashing a quick one against Hoshoryu. It was so good Hoshoryu had a wry smile on after.


Match of the Day

08 Komusubi East Abi versus 42 Maegashira #17 East Takerufuji

This wasn't an epic battle, but it was highly revealing. Takerufuji, in his 9th Makuuchi match ever, didn't let former Yusho-winner and Sanyaku man Abi get his two-handed thrust started because he got in so quick. Then when Abi went for his frequent Plan B of reaching for the back of the mawashi and moving sideways, Takerufuji was too close inside. Just a masterful way to approach Abi by our current leader.


Recap

The assignment for Abi and Wakamotoharu was to put some dirt on the two young upstarts and pull them back to the pack in the yusho race. Neither could do it. That's not really a blemish on either of them. Abi learned what 8 previous rikishi have against Takerufuji, that he will be on you extremely quickly with little room to maneuver. Wakamotoharu, meanwhile, got overwhelmed initially by the bigger Onosato. True to form, Wakamotoharu rallied and fought back, but Onosato had him too well locked up for anything to happen except a delay of the eventual yorikiri.


So Takerufuji is still the only undefeated rikishi, with Onosato sitting one loss behind him on his own. Their initial Sanyaku tests were a blip, but they don't see another named ranker on Day Ten. Instead, they see each other. Onosato is a particular challenge to Takerufuji, since he seems to be one of the few rikishi who might out-power the Isegahama rookie. But it's silly to doubt Takerufuji after what he did to Abi. The real key is that Onosato can bring Takerufuji even with him at the top of the leaderboard by winning tomorrow.


The group who is in striking distance when either Takerufuji or Onosato fall back is shrinking. Hoshoryu got tricked by Midorifuji with Midorifuji's main trick, so he is 6-3. Abi was Takerufuji's most recent victim, Mitakeumi looked shaky against Roga, and Sadanoumi was pushed aside by Churanoumi. That's four fewer rikishi two losses off the pace with a limited amount of matches remaining for everyone. Anyone at 6-3, which also includes Gonoyama and Takayasu, need a lot to go right above them as well as likely win out for any yusho shout.


That's not as true for Takakeisho, Kotonowaka, and Shonannoumi, the trio of sumotori at 7-2. If Takerufuji and/or Onosato keeps winning, the Ozeki are there to make the yusho race more competitive. By rights, they should beat a Maegashira #5 and a Maegashira #17. Of course, that's not how Haru has played out so far. Shonannoumi presents an interesting opponent for any leader. He has already lost to Takerufuji, but he'll need to see other leaders if he keeps up this pace.


But in a tournament where the sole Yokozuna pulled out early, the path is there for a very shocking winner. Takerufuji would be the first wrestler to win from the lowest spot on the Banzuke since stablemate Terunofuji did it in July 2020. That was completely different, as Terunofuji was a former Ozeki making his return from a long injury absence. He then quickly ascended back to Ozeki and eventually Yokozuna, showing he was different than most lower Maegashira.. And Takerufuji needs to topple Onosato first before those comparisons can be more serious.

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