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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Ten




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

9 Wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho


8 Wins

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho


Notable Manuevers

Kotenage. Takakeisho unleashed his second arm lock throw of the tournament, and fourth of his career, to beat Meisei. If Takakeisho has a new weapon, that is trouble for every other rikishi.


Match of the Day

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho versus 24 Maegashira #7 West Ura

Kotoshoho wanted to keep Ura at arm's length, but Ura wanted to get inside and possibly grab a leg. Neither man succeeded, which meant that they circled the dohyo a bit and then had one of those endings where each falls out and the replay makes you wonder about Ura's hand compared to Kotoshoho's shin compared to both men having no chance to recover. Gumbai Kotoshoho, but mono-ii and Torinaoashi.


Then they almost had the same start, but Kotoshoho decided to keep up the pressure as Ura moved around instead of countering. That sent Ura to the clay and kept Kotoshoho in the yusho race.


Recap

The yusho race is still firmly in Takakeisho's hands. He confidently dispatched Meisei with a kotenage, barely broke a sweat, and is still the sole leader. The last five days will be interesting. On Day Eleven, he will see Komusubi Kotonowaka. He also still hasn't faced Komusubi Kiribayama or any of the three competing Sekiwake. That could be his final five matches, or he could skip Shodai or even Wakatakakage to see Kotoshosho and/or Onosho.

Since Kotoshoho and Onosho face each other on Day Eleven, it is a certainty that just two men will enter Day Twelve with 2 or fewer losses. Onosho has a 4-1 career lead, although they have split their two matchups since Kotoshoho returned to Makuuchi in 2022. Onosho is the veteran here, but Kotoshoho probably has the athleticism advantage. However, both men are talented rikishi who haven't done as well recently because they get out of sorts at times. Their match could be thrilling or disappointingly anticlimactic.

What will happen is that the winner stands the best chance of overtaking Takakeisho. There is a quartet at three losses, although none of them have an easy road. Tamawashi is the only man in the joi, and he has faced most of Sanyaku. He is also the only previous yusho winner in the group, but he still needs to keep up his winning form and have Takakeisho lose twice. Nishikigi, Hiradoumi, and Azumaryu will face tougher opponents than they have so far while also needing to keep up their winning forms and have Takakeisho lose twice.

The Kotoshoho-Onosho winner and whoever survives a possible round robin among the three loss group may face the Ozeki. But they all need to keep winning to have a shot at Takakeisho. He'll just stand atop the sumo mountain, waiting for all comers. Certainly, no one should rule out the likes of Kiribayama, Kotonowaka, Wakatakakage, or Hoshoryu beating Takakeisho. Hoshoryu, in particular, has looked strong this basho, although he missed Day Ten with an ankle injury. He'll be back on Day Eleven, apparently, but who knows in what condition he'll be in.

One thing unites everyone behind Takakeisho. They have to do well, while needing Takakeisho to fall off his pace. He shows no sign of slowing down. His power thrusting has been on display in Hatsu, while also surviving some slightly longer matches and even using a throw on multiple occasions. This is the best version of Takakeisho, eyeing a Yokozuna promotion and ready to prove he's the best sekitori right now.
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