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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2024 Day Seven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

7 Wins

22 Maegashira #7 West Asanoyama


6 Wins

02 Ozeki #1 East Kirishima

05 Sekiwake East Kotonowaka

36 Maegashira #14 West Onosho

38 Maegashira #15 West Onosato


Notable Maneuvers

Yoritaoshi. Well, that's what they called it. Shodai actually beat Terunofuji by grabbing hold of the Yokozuna and rocking him back and forth to the edge.


Match of the Day

02 Ozeki #1 East Kirishima versus 14 Maegashira #3 West Hokutofuji

This was an odd one. Kirishima made it a grappling contest, but he didn't the grip he (or anyone else) would want. Hokutofuji was pushing up Kirishima's arms in an uncomfortable way. This led to such a wild trip around the dohyo that they knocked over the gyoji, who lost his hat and one sandal. In the end, Kirishima got the heavy yorikiri. And the gyoji was back on his feet to call it.


Recap

Asanoyama continues to set the pace for the basho. In fact, since he's still undefeated, he's making it a tougher challenge to stay in shouting range. His real challenges with Sanyaku opponents are in the offing, as on Day Eight he gets Maegashira #10 East Tamawashi. Tellingly, the other Maegashira #7 and Maegashira #10, Ichiyamamoto and Sadanoumi, respectively, face off. The schedulers are not yet making sure the men at the top of the leaderboard will fight each day. It's going to be a little before Asanoyama gets moved up.


And it's worth wondering if Asanoyama will be facing the Yokozuna if he keeps winning. Terunofuji lost to Shodai, which isn't necessarily a sign of significant trouble. Shodai isn't what he used to be, but the former Ozeki is still a gifted rikishi with the ability to pull surprises. He also did what other rikishi have done to trouble Terunofuji but still lose. Everyone seems to know Terunofuji's legs are in bad enough shape he can be off balance fairly easy. Shodai kept him rocking, and the Yokozuna never really came close to turning the match around. One or two more losses in the next few days could lead to whispers of another kyujo.


Terunofuji is still one of five rikishi on two losses, who are all just behind the quartet on one loss. The Ozeki and Sekiwake are all in that group of nine as well, with Kirishima and Kotonowaka staying on one loss with powerful sumo against everyone's best. Hoshoryu and Daieisho are also looking like serious enough competitors to trouble any opponent. To win this yusho, Asanoyama will still need to run that gauntlet in some fashion. That's why he still has most of the work to do.


Also, his first significant test will come from whichever other Maegashira stays hot. Onosato took on Oho, and he absolutely demolished another man who came in with one loss. But he gets 1-6 Endo on Day Eight. Onosho is the other 6-1 lower Maegashira after he got the freebie win against Aoiyama. (Aoiyama was looking out of sorts already, and then the reports say he has an ACL problem. This may be the last we see of the Big Bulgarian Blue Mountain.) Onosho will see 4-3 Shimazuumi on Day Eight. Onosho and Onosato have already seen each other, with the debutant getting his one loss in their Day Three match.


So watch when Asanoyama will face either Onosho or Onosato. Then see when one of the Maegashira overperforming gets a Sanyaku match. That may need to happen before the Sanyaku traditionally face each other in the final few days, but it must happen if anyone stays in the yusho race. Really, no matter who anyone faces, the key will be to keep winning since so many rikishi are doing well this basho.

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