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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Eight

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

6 Wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho

5 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

12 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho

29 Maegashira #10 East Aoiyama

38 Maegashira #14 West Azumaryu

41 Maegashira #16 East Takarafuji

Notable Manuevers

Kekaeshi. Tobizaru beat Kotonowaka with the always interesting "minor inner foot sweep."

Match of the Day

11 Maegashira #1 East Tobizaru versus 08 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka

Actually, let's dive into that match. Styles make matchups, and Tobizaru's controlled chaos met Kotonowaka's excellent footwork. The chaos looked like it would rule the day, but Kotonowaka planted his feet after a stumble and stalled out the Flying Monkey. Then it looked like a belt/strength battle Kotonowaka would dominate. Tobizaru managed to turn it into a minor stalemate, although one he seemed at the disadvantage in. Finally, he decided to take away Kotonowaka's best attribute by kicking his right foot at Kotonowaka's right shin. "Minor inner foot sweep," indeed.


Once again, Takakeisho withstood a blistering match with a game Isegahama man, exchanging hard blows with Nishikifuji around the dohyo. He got a bloody nose for his troubles, and a crucial win as a reward. The day's previous results made that even more important than it seemed at the start of the Makuuchi matches. Of the four other men on one loss coming into Day Eight, only Kotoshoho won. Now the yusho arasoi has two leaders, Takakeisho and Kotoshoho.

Takakeisho has not been doing his overpowering tsuppari this basho to win, but he is winning. In some ways, this is a better sign of his ability to make a Yokozuna promotion. As the lone Ozeki in a basho without a Yokozuna, he is getting everyone's best shot. When he isn't instantly knocking back an opponent, he is keeping his feet well and finding a way to keep opponents off his belt and off balance. He also seems to be much better than he used to be if a bout goes more than about three seconds.

The other co-leader, Kotoshoho is not as safe a bet to remain on top. He does deserve credit for staying here, especially after the more veteran Daieisho, Onosho, and Aoiyama lost their matches. The young Sadogatake man still is finding his best sumo after an injury curtailed his rocketship to Sanyaku two years ago. At 23 with ideal size and good athleticism, Kotoshoho has always had this possibility. He now faces the challenge of fellow leaders and higher-ranked men.

Or at least he will soon. On Days Seven and Eight, no one on the leaderboard faced each other. Day Nine will continue that somewhat. Kotoshoho will square off with 5-3 Hiradoumi, but Takakeisho sees 2-6 Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi sort of got henka-ed by Hoshoryu on Day Eight, although the match could also be easily described as Hoshoryu redirecting an extremely poor tachiai from Sadanoumi. Hoshoryu is 6-2 and is likely looming until the final day for Takakeisho. He'll see Kotoshoho closer to the end, too, if Kotoshoho can keep it up.

There are plenty of scheduling options over the basho's second week. The co-leaders are at opposite ends of the Banzuke, while the two-loss group is spread out. Hoshoryu's fellow Sekiwake include the .500 Wakatakakage, the struggling and already-eliminated from rebounding to Ozkei Shodai, and the withdrawn Takayasu. The four Komusubi are all working to get kachi-koshi more than make a yusho challenge. But everybody gets 7 more matches, and the leaders need to win as many of them as they can.
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