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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2023 Day Two




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Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Uwatenage. A throw usually means that the losing rikishi gets upended to go over and down. When Hokuseiho had the back of Endo's mawashi, what he instead did was throw him almost straight down. And Endo is not a small rikishi.


Match of the Day

05 Sekiwake #1 East Daieisho versus 16 Maegashira #4 East Gonoyama

Daieisho and Gonoyama went into the kind of slapfest that was always an offer with these two. Daieisho had the slight edge, but Gonoyama was returning the fight quite well. Then they went sideways, both lost balance, and went down almost immediately. The gyoji pointed to Daieisho, but their hands hit at almost the exact same time.


Mono-ii. Torinaoshi. Then it almost seemed like a replay, except they moved sideways quiker and Daieisho kept his balance better.


Recap

The Ozeki and Sekiwake kept the pace again on Day Two. In fact, the only upset on Day Two among the Sanyaku was Tobizaru beating Hokutofuji. Although he was 0-8 against Hokutofuji coming in, Tobizaru beating a Komusubi as a Maegashira #3 isn't really a shocker. The Ozeki and Sanyaku did their jobs, beating lower-ranked men. That is how sumo is supposed to work, even if it hasn't been working that way recently.


The Ozeki also looked fairly solid. Kirishima in particular is in fine form. He beat Abi with Abi-zumo, blasting him in the chest and sending him right back. Abi had the look of someone who wasn't sure what he could have done differently after the match. Hoshoryu got worked back by Ura at the start, but reorganized himself and handled the always tricky Man in Pink. In fact, he won by a hearty shove in a matchup between two technical throwers. Takakeisho blasted Shodai at the tachiai, and won with a nice shove down.


That doesn't mean Takakeisho was as dominant as he can be. The best version of Takakeisho would shove an opponent back so hard from the jump that they were never in the match. Takakeisho shoved Shodai hard immediately, but Shodai could hold his ground. That meant Takakeisho had to work. Takakeisho's incredible ring-sense, always an underrated feature of his sumo, allowed him to get his feet in as he went backwards. In the end, a win is a win and his main task is to keep collecting them.


The impressive performances weren't limited to the top of the Banzuke. Hokuseiho figured out how to reach his right hand completely around to the back of Endo's mawashi during the tachiai. If the giant has figured out how to be a bit quicker to his favorite grip, everyone needs to be worried. Similarly, Atamifuji displayed the kind of sumo that makes him a threat to any rikishi against Mitakeumi. He got under the shorter man and then simply outmuscled the former Ozeki. The promise of these two youngsters is showing in current matches and may not be completely in the future.


Two days don't tell anyone much of anything about a basho, although it is twice as much information as Day Two. Takayasu isn't necessarily out of it just because he lost to Kotonowaka, especially as Kotonowaka could easily be a contender for the yusho. In both cases, we'll know more by the second week. But if Ozeki and Sekwake keep winning, this is going to be a basho about who rises above rather than who doesn't fall as much.

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