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Hatsu 2024 Day Three




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Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Sukuinage. Or at least that's what they called what Hoshoryu did to Ura. Ura looked like he might take the match after the tachiai, but then Hoshoryu stood up, shoved aside Ura, and they said he performed a beltless arm throw to get Ura down to the clay.


Match of the Day

01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji versus 12 Maegashira #2 West Abi

This was not ideal sumo, and actually got quite ugly. But it was entertaining. Abi should have had this one a handful of times, but he never really found the way to win. Maybe a better rikishi, or the better version of Abi, would have. Terunofuji was tottering moving backwards, but regained his footing a few times. Eventually, he reigned in Abi for a tottari, arm-bar throw. The Yokozuna won, but he's still in danger.


Recap

The relentless nature of sumo reared its head on Day Three. Takakeisho and Daieisho both lost to focused Maegashira in Wakamotoharu and Hokutofuji respectively. They weren't blasted away, but they did lose. Takayasu, meanwhile, pulled out with back problems. Shodai, Hiradoumi, Churanoumi, Onosato, and Takarafuji also picked up their first losses on Day Three. Sumo can be a grind as much as anything.


After three matches for each sekitori, we have just five undefeated Makuuchi wrestlers. Kirishima and Hoshoryu are Ozeki. Kirishima is aimining for Yokozuna promotion right now, while Hoshoryu certainly has an eventual rope run on his mind. Kotonowaka is aiming for Ozeki-dom if he gets a yusho-winning total. The two undefeated Maegashira present a different experience. Asanoyama is a former Ozeki who hasn't gotten back to Sanyaku since his suspension, mostly due to injuries rather than current ability. Shimazuumi is a 27 year old rookie who is performing well so far in his debut.


That group all has reasons to be dead-eye focused on each match, although that doesn't mean they don't have pitfalls. Takakeisho and Daieisho should be a warning to the Sanyaku men. Asanoyama is likely going to see a few higher-ranked men sooner rather than later. Shimazuumi will find someone who realizes where his weakness is, then everyone can exploit it. No sumotori is without some weakness, and men get to Makuuchi because they can exploit weaknesses.


The winless rikishi should also be considered. Tomokaze and Aoiyama look like they are currently unable to hold on in Makuuchi and need to regroup real soon. Ryuden and Ichiyamamoto seem to be at ranks well above their station. Meanwhile, Ura, Atamifuji, Midorifuji, and Abi all have faced as tough a slate as they could. Their match schedules have been full of Sanyaku opponents. That isn't letting up quite yet, as only Abi sees a fellow Maegashira on Day Three.


Kirishima, Hoshoryu, and Kotonowaka all look remarkably strong, but there's no reason to expect them to remain undefeated. Zensho yusho are extremely rare for a reason. 12 and 13 win yusho are also more common than 14 win Emperor's Cups. Assume a rikishi, unless it's prime Hakuho, will drop a match or two. The question is always when they drop a match, and to who.

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