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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Six




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.



Yusho Arasoi

5 wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho

12 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

15 Maegashira #3 East Abi

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho

29 Maegashira #10 East Aoiyama

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho

38 Maegashira #14 West Azumaryu

41 Maegashira #16 East Takarafuji


Notable Manuevers

Hansoku. Takanosho lost to Chiyoshoma because he gave a hearty yank on the Mongolian trickster's hair. Foul.


Match of the Day

16 Maegashira #3 West Midorifuji versus 04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

The simple fact of this match was that Midorifuji refused to lose. Hoshoryu sort of bundled him up at the tachiai with a hard to classify grip. Hoshoryu's left arm was around Midorifuji's right, but Hoshoryu's right arm was sort of pushing on Midorifuji's left. It was enough to give Hoshoryu the advantage, just not enough to get the win. After a lot of adjusting and attempted throws, Hoshoryu got Midorifuji to the edge. Then Midorifuji attempted an utchari throw, while Hoshoryu went into Midorifuji's body. In the ensuing mess, the gyoji said Hoshoryu's elbow went down before any part of Midorifuji.


There was a mono-ii, and Hoshoryu clearly felt hard done by not getting at least a torinaoshi. The fans should feel hard done by as well because more from these two would have been great.


Recap

On Day Six, chaos erupted at the Hatsu basho. Three men, Abi, Aoiyama, and Kotoshoho, came in undefeated. All three lost. Chiyoshoma had his hair pulled. Nishikigi had has mawashi retightened by the gyoji after Ryuden loosened it. There were two kyujo announcements, from veteran Okinoumi and former Ozeki Takayasu. Once the dust settled, 8 rikishi were tied for the lead with one loss, while 7 rikishi sit at two losses.

The most significant match was the musubi no ichiban. Takakeisho faced previously undefeated Abi in what was a guaranteed pushing battle. Abi's thrusts had a small initial advantage, but Takakeisho withstood the blast and redirected the match. Now the sole Ozeki in a Nokozuna tournament is atop the leaderboard, albeit tied with plenty of other rikishi. That includes Abi, who was looking so strong until Day Six. Maegashira #1 Daieisho is also sitting at one loss while fighting well.

The quintet of rikishi tied with those three joi fighters are probably less likely to stay in a yusho race based on recent records. Onosho and Kotoshoho are immensely talented rikishi who often find themselves out of sorts. No one would discount their ability to take any match, but keeping it up over two weeks has often been their main issue. Aoiyama, Azumaryu, and Takarafuji are veterans who have been in relegation battles more than yusho races in recent basho. In fact, Azumaryu is still seeking his first top-division winning record.

None of that changes the fact that every rikishi tied for the lead has the same task: just keep winning. If a sumotori wins his next match while tied for the lead, he maintains the favorable position. Of course, there is a massive cluster at the top of the yusho arasoi because no one is steamrolling over this basho. Upsets should be expected, and even some losses by one-loss rikishi would not really be upsets.

Take the Day Seven Torikumi. There are no battles of 5-1 rikishi, but Takakeisho gets 4-2 Midorifuji, Abi has to face 4-2 Hoshoryu, Onosho sees 4-2 Hiradoumi, and Kotoshoho tangles with 4-2 Endo. All of the four rikishi listed above with 2 losses could win those matches. Hatsu promises to continue to be a tangle for the next few days.
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