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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Eleven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.



Yusho Arasoi

9 Wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho


8 Wins

14 Maegashira #2 West Tamawashi

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho


Notable Manuevers

Sukuinage. Much like boyhood rival Takakeisho's new kotenage, Onosho's ability to throw an off-balance opponent like he did to Kotoshoho is a bad sign for other rikishi.


Match of the Day

08 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka versus 02 Ozeki West Takakeisho

Takakeisho began with his fearsome pushing, but Kotonowaka's outstanding footwork allowed him to take the blows without going backward. He was getting a face full of slaps from the Ozeki, but Kotonowaka could take a chance on shifting the match. His approach was to get under Takakeisho's arms. It took a lot of effort, because Takakeisho was not going quietly. In the end, though, it was the shin-Komusubi who was victorious with a mighty shove that threw Takakeisho off-balance.


Recap

One of Onosho and Kotoshoho was falling behind in the yusho race on Day Eleven, since they faced each other. It was Onosho who won, and he was sitting on 2 losses with a guarantee of at least being one behind Takakeisho. At the end of the day, Kotonowaka sent Takakeisho flying over the edge of the dohyo. That placed Onosho and Takakeisho in a tie for the lead with 9 wins.

Takakeisho and Onosho were school age rivals, who then became two of sumo's exciting young stars. Born a month apart, Onosho in July 1996 and Takakeisho in August, Onosho joined sumo first. Takakeisho was a high school sumo star who joined sumo and dominated the lower divisions. Takakeisho made Makuuchi in January 2017 as a 20 year old, but Onosho made it in May 2017. By January 2018, they were the Komusubi pair as 21 year olds and seemed like sumo's future.

From there, their careers have diverged. Onosho had to pull out with injury from Hatsu 2018, while Takakeisho had a poor 5-10. Takakeisho recovered better. He was on his way to Ozeki after he learned how to fight in Sanyaku, and he has been in position to elevate to Yokozuna on multiple occasions. Onosho has battled injuries and inconsistency. His bowling ball sumo can be effective at times, at least when he doesn't get off balance. He never made it to Sanyaku again. Now, with four days left in the Hatsu 2023 basho, the old rivals are paired again atop the yusho arasoi.

They are not the only ones with a chance to lift the Emperor's Cup. Two-time yusho winner Tamawashi and exciting young talent Kotoshoho are sitting on three losses, one off the pace. Tamawashi can impact the yusho race directly on Day Twelve. He gets Onosho in the marquee Maegashira matchup. Kotoshoho will try to rebound against Nishikigi. In the final match, Takakeisho will see the very dangerous Kiribayama.

Kiribayama is one of 9 rikishi at 7-4, and in theory they all still stand a chance at the yusho. Likely, vaulting over the four rikishi at the top of the leaderboard will be too big a challenge. That cluster of 4 loss rikishi does show that there are plenty of game and poised rikishi who are fighting for something. Takakeisho's loss on Day Eleven was remarkable, critical, and key in the yusho race. Just don't think it was very surprising.

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