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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2023 Day Two

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Notable Manuevers

Katasukashi. Everyone knows Midorifuji loves the under shoulder swing down and is on the lookout for it, but he can still whip it out like he did against Ryuden today.

Match of the Day

08 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka versus 04 Sekiwake #1 West Hoshoryu

These two could be putting on great matches in Sanyaku for years to come, and today's was very good indeed. Hoshoryu got the initial advantage at the tachiai, and he looked like he would easily shove Kotonowaka out. Instead, the shin-Komusubi held his line at the edge and got a mawashi grip. That then made Hoshoryu go backward. As they were moving back towards the middle of the ring, Hoshoryu unleashed a powerful throw for the win.


Despite it only being Day Two, just one Sanyaku rikishi stands undefeated. That is Sekiwake Hoshoryu, who is coming off 11 wins in Kyushu and has looked like he's ready for an Ozeki promotion with his performance in his first two matches. After manhandling Tobizaru, he overpowered Kotonowaka. That's a nice opening, and one no other top rankers can match right now. Of course, 12 men sit at 2-0 overall, including the upper Maegashira clutch of Daieisho, Mitakeumi, Tamawashi, Abi, and Midorifuji.

And on Day Three, Hoshoryu will face Mitakeumi. MItakeumi looks as healthy as he has since perhaps his yusho win and Ozeki promotion clinch a year ago. They have a surprisingly critical match very early in this basho. The other clash of undefeated rikishi take place lower down the Banzuke, as Kotoshoho faces Tsurugisho and Takarafuji sees Azumaryu. The ranks of the undefeated will be thinned by at least three after a third set of matches. Nothing will continue as it is in a sumo basho, because these matchups will always happen.

Two matches is still a day of reading tea leaves, even if the sample size is twice as large as Day One. Hoshoryu, Mitakeumi, and Abi all look like they are doing their best sumo. Midorifuji, Onosho, and Kotoshoho also have the air of rikishi who could compile a large number of wins. Meanwhile, Takakeisho and Wakatakakage have not put together the strong starts of their rivals, while Shodai seems he may be unable to return to Ozeki. At the other end of Makuuchi, Chiyomaru looks like he once again won't be able to handle the top division.

Viewing things by win-loss record is tricky this early, because a sekitori can seem on his sumo and able to perform while losing. Take Kotonowaka. He has faced Abi and Hoshoryu, who both looked excellent in their matches. Part of what made them seem so excellent was that Kotonowaka fought like the future star he is. Abi just used his yusho winning sumo, while Hoshoryu mixed power and technique perfectly. Sometimes a sumotori's record is really just a reflection of his opponents.

Although little can be said about the outcome of a basho from Day Two, Hoshoryu is in pole position. He needs to continue to perform over his next 13 matches, and one loss doesn't mean Takakeisho or Wakatakakage are out of the yusho race. It's just always better to be the guy with more wins, and Hoshoryu has that position after two days.
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