- Fantasy Basho
Kyushu 2022 Day Three
Public League Leaderboard
Scores from Fantasizr.
Kotenage. Kotoshoho was flying all around against Chiyoshoma, but really managed to win because he grabbed Chiyoshoma's arm for a decisive arm lock throw.
Match of the Day
Maegashira #11 East Onosho versus Maegashira #12 East Kotoeko
These two had a boring first match where they happened to go out and down at the same time. That caused a torinaoshi and the redo was sensational. This immediately became a belt battle, which favored Kotoeko. However, Onosho kept attempting throws, which moved Kotoeko sideways but not over. Kotoeko bounced Onosho around the whole dohyo until finally forcing him out.
Your five undefeated rikishi in Makuuchi are, in order of rank, Hoshoryu, Tobizaru, Abi, Kotoshoho, and Hiradoumi. The surprise with that group is both its size and the identities of the rikishi. These are all wrestlers capable of good performances, but the fact it is those five men certainly defies expectations. The two Sanyaku wrestlers, Hoshoryu and Tobizaru, are working on establishing their named rank bonafides. Hoshoryu, Kotoshoho, and Hiradoumi are all under 25.
Their performances have been mixed as well. Hiradoumi is looking excellent, delivering his brand of sumo (get inside quickly, grab a hold, and muscle the other guy) to great effect against the lower Maegashira. Kotoshoho's athleticism has been on full display, as has his wildness as he has flown around the dohyo and barely escaped with wins. Abi is dominating at a rank he should be, but also is keeping his feet well. They'll all face challenges, including each other at some point, but one of these could be the man further down the Banzuke who collects a ton of wins.
Hoshoryu and Tobizaru have looked less impressive, but have also faced stiffer competition. Tobizaru, for his part, seems to be embracing the most extreme form of his sumo. He is spinning around, shifting to the side, and attempting to unleash all manner of wild techniques. In theory, that should have a shelf life because that high-wire act is inconsistent. Hoshoryu, meanwhile, has not dominated in any of his three matches. What he has done is survived and not lost. That is a crucially important skill for a top wrestler, and Hoshoryu has lacked it recently. If he can win when he isn't on his best sumo, everyone else should watch out.
Of course, the crowd at 2-1 in the top half of the Banzuke is also dangerous and just win one win back. The Ozeki pair of Takakeisho and Shodai have not used their best sumo, but they seem locked in. Ozekiwake Mitakeumi seems desperate to get to 10 wins and return to Ozeki, but he clearly is not in top shape. Fellow Sekiwake Wakatakakage is capable of giving everyone a tough match. Former Ozeki Takayasu has remained strong at Maegashira #1 East. Being unbeaten in Sanyaku is a temporary status, in all likelihood.
Three days doesn't say that much about a basho, either overall or for individual rikishi. Three matches for every wrestler are enough to give shape to a leaderboard. That is the real advantage Hoshoryu and Tobizaru have right now. They are one win ahead in a tournament where each win looks extremely precious.