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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Nine



Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

8 Wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho


7 Wins

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho


Notable Manuevers

It was a double henka day. Chiyoshoma sidestepped Takarafuji early on. In the second half of Makuuchi, Midorifuji jumped out of Abi's way for an easy win.


Match of the Day

17 Maegashira #4 East Nishikifuji versus 24 Maegashira #7 West Ura

It was a little sloppy, but also really exciting. Ura went for Nishikifuji's leg, which the Isegahama man spotted instantly. After blowing up Ura's grip attempt, Nishikifuji began pushing Ura back. Then Ura began moving in that nimble crab way he can. Both men were sliding around the dohyo, which was worse for Nishikifuji who began to stumble and fall down. Ura sensed the weakness and hit a slapdown for the win.


Recap

Early in Makuuchi, Kotoshoho fell to Hiradoumi's quite excellent throw. That put Kotoshoho on two losses and gave Takakeisho the sole lead until his match with Sadanoumi. When Takakeisho did mount the dohyo, he won with ease and claimed his place atop the yusho arasoi heading into Day Nine. The lone Ozeki in a basho with no competing Yokozuna is entirely in control of the yusho race.

Takakeisho's favorable position isn't just down to his performance. Of the seven rikishi on one or two losses heading into Day Nine, only Onosho won. That leaves two men sitting one loss back of Takakeisho, Onosho and Kotoshoho. The ten men on 6 wins after 9 matches are certainly not out of it, but they need plenty to go right. Takakeisho needs to just win out, while Onosho and Kotoshoho also need to win out and hope Takakeisho falls. The 3 loss group needs even more chaos to happen.

The most impactful loss of the day was by Hoshoryu. Not only did Hoshoryu lose to Wakamotoharu, but he injured his left ankle in the match. The moment might have even been as he was attempting a signature throw. The wheelchair was brought down the tunnel as Hoshoryu limped away, but he waved it off. If he will keep competing, Hoshoryu is likely not at 100% over the last six matches. As the only threat to Takakeisho's yusho run in the Sanyaku, Hoshoryu was likely to have the best chance at toppling the Ozeki. That chance just lessened.

Onosho and Kotoshoho are likely to face some Sanyaku men, then Takakeisho if they keep winning. They will possibly face each other first, although that's not happening on Day Ten. Kotoshoho gets Ura, a similar rikishi to his Day Nine opponent Hiradoumi. Perhaps he's learned a lesson, or maybe Kotoshoho still needs to learn how to beat this smaller and more flexible rikishi. Onosho does know how to win, and he has won his one career match against Day Ten opponent Nishikifuji. Onosho's issue is not ability, but consistency.

The story of this basho will be about Takakeisho. He is possibly chasing a Yokozuna run, and even if his January performance doesn't seal it, he is in prime position for a March shot at sumo's ultimate rank. He now has control of the yusho race, and whether he wins his 3rd yusho is entirely about his performance.


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