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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2023 Day Seven




Yusho Arasoi

6 Wins

04 Ozeki #2 West Hoshoryu

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka

37 Maegashira #14 East Ichiyamamoto


5 Wins

02 Ozeki #1 East Takakeisho

03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

05 Sekiwake #1 East Daieisho

17 Maegashira #4 West Nishikigi

19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji

20 Maegashira #6 East Shonannoumi

25 Maegashira #8 West Atamifuji

28 Maegashira #10 East Ryuden

33 Maegashira #12 West Tamawashi

36 Maegashira #14 East Tomokaze

39 Maegashira #15 West Churanoumi


Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Tottari. Kotonowaka was working on showing Ura a simple yorikiri when Ura quickly shifted his grip to grab Kotonowaka's left arm with both hands. That delivered Ura the matador-style arm-bar throw.


Match of the Day

22 Maegashira #7 East Hokuseiho versus 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji

Sumotori only need to be up for a few seconds a day, or a minute at most. Not today for Hokuseiho and Midorifuji. Pretty quickly, they ended up with Hokuseiho upright and grabbing the back of Midorifuji's mawashi while Midorifuji had his head in the giant's chest with a tight grip himself. Then they did nothing quickly. Mostly they stood there, with Hokuseiho doing very little and Midorifuji occsionally trying an unsuccesful trip. After FOUR MINUTES, the head judge called a break for water. Their positions were marked, they were separated, and came back to take the same hold. And very little changed. Finally, Midorifuji went for it and tried to pull some wild pulling throw. Hokuseiho did go down, but figured out how to land on Midorifuji for the win. That kept Midorifuji out of the top group on the leaderboard.


Recap

On the seventh day, no one was left undefeated. Sadanoumi absolutely bottled up Ichiyamamoto, which is the best way to neutralize his pushing attack. In the end, Ichiyamamoto's first loss was boring. Not so with Kotonowaka, who fell to one of Ura's better tricks. The result is the same. Each man sits at 6-1 after one week of sumo.


Joining them atop the yusho arasoi is Ozeki Hoshoryu. He extended his advantage over Abi to 6-2 by withstanding Abi's two-arms-to-the-neck attack, then grabbing his arms. That made Hoshoryu get behind Abi, looking like the rikishi from the first six days again. He is hitting new levels of his sumo, combining his skill with a focus and strength that make him exceedingly dangerous to anyone. Nishikigi gets the chance to beat him in a battle of men who always need glasses off the dohyo on Day Eight. Expect close fighting and a grappling battle.


Hoshoryu is also notable for being a rikishi who was 5-1 coming into Day Six and winning. The other four all fell, from Churanoumi to Atamifuji to Midorifuji to Takakeisho. Churanoumi apparenty has a Tsurugisho weakness. Atamifuji never got his footing against a game Hiradoumi. Midorifuji was ground down by Hokuseiho. None of those are bad losses, but they are losses. More impactfully, they are losses that put them one off the leaders instead of standing astride the yusho race.


Takakeisho's loss is a little different. Gonoyama is a strong opponent, even if he seems to still be learning to fight the very best. He beat Kirishima the day before, and he absolutely lit into Takakeisho. The match was a pushing battle, as expected between these two, but ended as a yorikiri because Gonoyama was so close to Takakeisho in his final push. That final push may be the real worry. Takakeisho went hard into the crowd, and he has the kind of injury history that makes any fall concerning. His Yokozuna run is still alive, but he needs to be nearly perfect from here on out to get the rope.


Perfection is difficult in sumo. Just ask Ichiyamamoto or Kotonowaka how easy it is to keep a perfect record. Or look at Endo from the other end. Endo came into the day at 0-6 while looking injured in some small way that zaps him of power. Yet he was able to use his veteran skills to push Takanosho aside and down. Anyone has the chance to win any match at any time, and it's those surprises that will define the basho.

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