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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2023 Day Nine

Yusho Arasoi

8 Wins

37 Maegashira #14 East Ichiyamamoto

7 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka

25 Maegashira #8 West Atamifuji

39 Maegashira #15 West Churanoumi

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Notable Maneuvers

Utchari. An Utchari is always fun, because it involves a wrestler twisting around at the edge to throw the other guy out as a desperation move. Kinbozan's was so surprising that Sadanoumi had a look on his face like "You're not supposed to do that."

Match of the Day

10 Maegashira #1 East Asanoyama versus 03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

The former Ozeki met the current Ozeki, and it started in favor of the former Ozeki. Asanoyama couldn't get a mawashi grip, but he got his arms under Kirishima's and drove the Mongolian backward. The lack of a grip meant Kirishima could disengage to reset the match. On the rest, Asanoyama still pushed Kirishima back. Now, though, Kirishima had the chance for a pull, and at the edge he balanced precariously as Asanoyama went down hard. Kirishima got the gyoji's call, and mono-ii made sure Asanoyama's hand was down before he stepped out.


The clash of the day coming in was Kotonowaka versus Hoshoryu, which was also the main event. Each was 6-2 and the winner was in a position of strength for the rest of the basho. Kotonowaka stood Hoshoryu up, and, although Hoshoryu gave a huge effort, the match was never really in doubt. The just-turned 26 year old is in position for an Ozeki promotion if he wins out, bulking out sumo's second-highest rank.

The Ozeki all look strong enough to compete at a fairly high level, even if they are off the yusho pace in Kyushu. Kirishima handled everything Asanoyama could give him, and he survived. Just like Kotonowaka, he is at 7-2 and on the edge of the the yusho lead. Takakeisho is only 6-3 and probably won't make Yokozuna, but he too is in position to get the crucial 8 wins to avoid kadoban status. He may even have a chance at 10 wins.

No one in that Ozeki group was fighting with a chance of taking the yusho lead. Ichiyamamoto had already won to go 8-1, dispatching Tamawashi with a surprising ease. Ichiyamamoto guaranteeing a winning record shouldn't be glossed over. That's huge for a Juryo promotee, because it means he gets to stay in Makuuchi. He's possibly fighting for much more now. Similarly, Churanoumi is one win away from insuring staying in Makuuchi in his top division debut, while also being in the one-loss back group at 7-2.

Ichiyamamoto and Churanoumi have already seen each other, so their next big match against someone else in the Yusho race would be Atamifuji. The young star from Isegahama-beya is on 7-2 after his Jun-Yusho in September. He is at a career-high rank and seems to be on pace to be in Sanyaku sooner rather than later. He has incredible strength and skill, while also having the veteran ability to not beat himself. Atamifuji also won't be 23 until next September.

Atamifuji, Ichiyamamoto, and Churanoumi are all going to see their toughest tests as the basho closes. This is why Kirishima and Kotonowaka have an advantage. They always see the top of the Banzuke, and they have the track record of beating Sanyaku and upper Maegashira wrestlers consistently. Of course, they still need to face each other as well, which is probably a few days away. They also need to get one or two of these upstart Maegashira in the interim. This thing is still pretty open.

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