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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Five



Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

5 wins

15 Maegashira #3 East Abi

29 Maegashira #10 East Aoiyama

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho


Notable Manuevers

Uchimuso. Midorifuji technically beat Myogiryu with an "inner thigh popping twist down." However, the real description might be he was able to stay upright better as both were spinning around.


Match of the Day

12 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho versus 04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

This was a highlight match coming in, but Daieisho made sure it delivered when they got on the dohyo. Hoshoryu has been lethal so far in Hatsu when he gets any kind of mawashi grip, so Daieisho decided to just make sure he couldn't get a grip. The tsuppari attack didn't immediately dominate the Sekiwake, but Hoshoryu never got an opening and only went backwards.


Recap

With one-third of the basho completed, Abi, Aoiyama, and Kotoshoho are in a three-way tie for the lead as the only undefeated rikishi. This somewhat puts Abi in control of the yusho race, because he is the highest ranked of the three. Still, with no undefeated Sanyaku men and seven rikishi with 1 loss, the better way to view the Hatsu basho is that it's wide open.

Daieisho's victory over Hoshoryu was the most obvious upending of the Hatsu status quo, but Abi toppling Wakatakakage was significant as well. Abi is still on his yusho winning form. He wasn't the stalking horse last time, but won the championship by coming from behind. A back-to-back Maegashira yusho for any rikishi would also be completely unprecedented. Odds are Abi will not be the last man standing once again for Hatsu.

But he is in the best spot to compete right now. He does get Takakeisho on Day Six, which could place the Ozeki in a much better spot to take the yusho race by the horns. If Takakeisho is near the leaderboard and competing, he will face anyone who is also in the yusho race. That's what it means to be an Ozeki. A similar thing could be said about Hoshoryu. Likely, the matchup between Takakeisho and Hoshoryu will be the final day collision if they both keep winning.

That could advantage Daieisho, who has already faced Takakeisho and Hoshoryu. At some point soon, he and Abi would normally be scheduled. Look for that to be pushed further away in the calendar if both men stay in the yusho race. Just don't necessarily pencil Daieisho in to keep winning. He gets Kiribayama on Day Six. The Misty Horse Mountain has the career advantage over Daieisho, so he could easily pip him on Day Six.

Really, that's true for most sumo matches, and without a dominant rikishi around those sorts of non-surprising upsets are much more likely to occur. Aoiyama and Kotoshoho are also on the top of the leaderboard, but feel more vulnerable. Lower Maegashira is just harder to predict. Also, neither man has performed like they belong in Sanyaku right now, but they're winning. That's always the most important thing in sumo, to win the next match. And the next match may just impact the yusho race.
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