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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Twelve

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

10 Wins

25 Maegashira #8 East Onosho

9 Wins

02 Ozeki West Takakeisho

35 Maegashira #13 East Kotoshoho

Notable Maneuver

Sukuinage. Both Kotoshoho and Kiribayama won crucial matches on Day Twelve with the beltless arm throw.

Match of the Day

19 Maegashira #5 East Ryuden versus 04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

Ryuden may just be the worst rikishi to face on a bad ankle, but that was Hoshoryu's task. Predictably, Ryuden was happy to absorb the tachiai and pretzel Hoshoryu up. They got sideways, switched grips, and moved around the dohyo. Ryuden was never going to let go, and Hoshoryu didn't have the power in his legs to bully him out. That meant Ryuden could work a very slow yorikiri win.


The sole leader of the 2023 Hatsu Basho after twelve days is Onosho. Go figure. Onosho now has 10 wins, a total he has reached about once per year in his career. His best win total ever in Makuuchi is 11, which he achieved in 2018. On Day Thirteen, he can match it by beating Takakeisho. That will also set up him for a yusho nicely. He's already put dirt on Kotoshoho and Tamawashi in the last two days, and other direct competitors are further back.

Takakeisho's two losses in as many days is what has changed the trajectory of the basho as much as anything. Onosho has taken the lead, but he only had the opportunity because the Ozeki did not maintain his pace. It's hard to say if anything has happened beyond the fact that keeping up top-notch sumo for two weeks is extraordinarily difficult. Takakeisho has been just below his very best on Days Eleven and Twelve. Sometimes that's the entire difference between winning and losing.

Kotoshoho also still has a strong chance at the yusho if Onosho slips up. His sukuinage against the momentum of the match versus Nishikigi was impressive. He is dialed in this basho, and he is coupling a newfound ring awareness with his immense talent. Whether he'll face Takakeisho or not is unclear. He gets Maegashira #3 East Abi on Day Thirteen, which will be his highest ranked opponent during Hatsu. A Sanyaku opponent lurks if he wins that, and then the real challenges begin.

There are plenty of rikishi fighting for things outside the yusho race. The Sekiwake ranks could once again be crowded in March. All three current Sekiwake still competing, Wakatakakage, Hoshoryu, and Shodai, are fighting to earn kachi-koshi. Kiribayama is on 8-4 at Komusubi, and he may force open another Sekiwake slot. Daieisho and Tamawashi are also fighting well from upper Maegashira. At the other end of the Banzuke, Chiyomaru has secured demotion, but Tsurugisho and Mitoryu are still working to avoid losing records and a return to Juryo. Happily, Azumaryu will stay in Makuuchi, as he secured his first ever top-flight winning record on Day Twelve.

Just three more days are left in the Hatsu basho, but those three days can hold a wealth of chaos. Right now, the 8-4 group of Kiribayama, Daieisho, Tamawashi, Endo, and Azumaryu need everything to go right to have a yusho shout. But they aren't out of it mathematically, and Takakeisho has recently demonstrated that a yusho favorite doesn't always stay that way.
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