- Fantasy Basho
Hatsu 2022 Day Two
Shitatenage. I don't know what Sadanoumi thought Ishiura would do when they were locked up, but it definitely wasn't a textbook left-handed underarm throw. That sent him rolling over to the clay.
Match of the Day
Ozeki East Takakeisho versus Komusubi East Meisei
Takakeisho began as usual, pushing Meisei back hard from the start. But Meisei was able to move himself just right to not take as hard a blow. Then he managed to move sideways and pull Takakeisho down. It's probably not going to become a textbook way to beat the Ozeki, but it worked for Meisei because of his athleticism and awareness.
The moment that will stick in everyone's head from Day Two was Ura struggling to get back on the dohyo after his match with Shodai. The two didn't really lock up, but had contact with each other as Shodai moved Ura back. Ura attempted a last ditch throw to save himself, although it seemed as though his foot was already out. Instead, he essentially pulled Shodai on to him as they both were falling off the dohyo. The shimpan told the gyoji to slow down the post-match rituals, and Ura went off in a wheelchair. He seemed like he may have been concussed, and he was limping noticeably.
In terms of results, the big news was Meisei handing Takakeisho an early loss. This doesn't put Takakeisho out of any contention yet, but it makes his margin for error much smaller. Terunofuji beat a very game Wakatakakage, winning a match where he didn't have the best of it at the tachiai once again. Shodai won his match against Ura. Mitakeumi bulldozed out Ichinojo. Those are the biggest threats for the yusho, and they all won relatively impressively.
This is sumo's basic nature. The most important thing is the next day's match, and any rikishi will be doing well if they just win that next match. That focus on each match makes a Day Two loss so important, even though it could be a blip on Takakeisho's way to a Yusho. We need to see about tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Extend that out for thirteen days. Apply that principle to the rest of the Banzuke, of course.
Meanwhile, just 11 of the 40 rikishi actually competing are 2-0. The yusho arasoi gets narrowed down quickly. Recent performance suggests Tamawashi, Onosho, Tobizaru, Myogiryu, Ishiura, and Kotonowaka won't stay in this position too long. Oho is making his Makuuchi debut, so he'll likely run into someone he can't handle soon enough. Abi did a pretty good job hanging in last time around and could do it again. We will only know if those assumptions hold with each day's matches.
On Day Three, Tobizaru and Abi square off. So at the very least, Day Three will end with one less undefeated rikishi. It would be stunning if it was just one. Anyone can lose on any day, and that's why watching sumo is all about seeing who wins the next match.