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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Eight



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Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

7 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji


6 Wins

05 Sekiwake #1 West Daieisho

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

22 Maegashira #7 West Tamawashi

38 Maegashira #15 West Takarafuji

39 Maegashira #16 East Endo

42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho


Notable Maneuvers

Shitatenage. For all of his awkwardness and upright approach, Hokuseiho is also a 21 year old who can unleash THAT kind of throw.


Match of the Day

13 Maegashira #3 East Midorifuji versus 03 Ozeki West Kirishima

Kirishima probably still isn't 100% and Midorifuji has yet to figure out the top half of Makuuchi. Midorifuji certainly looked the more desperate and gave a hard effort to muscle around Kirishima. The newly crowned Ozeki latched his left arm hard around Midorifuji's right which led to..... a massive delay as the gyoji had to fix Kirishima's mawashi. The two men were required to stand in the same position forever, although they actually couldn't really keep the same grip for the minutes they were waiting. In particular, Midorifuji grabbed a very deep grip on the back of Kirishima's mawashi. That didn't actually immediately lead to victory, but after repeated throw attempts, Kirishima couldn't keep it up and stepped out as Midorifuji attempted a throw.


A truly strange match that should be talked about for awhile.


Recap

Hoshoryu, Nishikigi, and Hokutofuji all kept the pace and moved to 7-1. They also all looked impressive, which is also nice. Hoshoryu took none of Ura's nonsense and simply slapped him down. Nishikigi easily bottled up Tobizaru, allowing the Flying Monkey to do basically nothing. Hokutofuji got his match against Takayasu and pushed out the former Ozeki after a short battle. Interestingly, although there are no easy matches in Makuuchi, each of the leaders will face rikishi who are underwater. Hoshoryu sees 3-5 Hiradoumi, Nishikigi gets 1-7 Mitakeumi, and Hokutofuji faces 3-5 Oho.


The sextet on six wins also don't face each other. The closest thing to a highlight match on paper on Day Nine is 5-3 Gonoyama versus 6-2 Endo in the third Makuuchi match of the day. The 6-2 Sekiwake pair do have semi-interesting matchups. Daieisho will see 4-4 Abi, and Wakamotoharu will square off with 4-4 Ura. This is the moment of a basho when things are moving along, everyone in the lead pack tries to keep up what they've been doing, and the excitement will come later.


Except, of course, that things don't always work out as planned. Tamawashi got shoved out in no time by Takanosho, which pulled him down from the group tied for the lead. Kotonowaka, Takayasu, Gonoyama, and Shonannoumi all lost on Day Nine to gather their third losses of Nagoya. Being two losses back doesn't doom yusho chances, but it certainly makes it harder to get back into the race. That is especially true when there are so many people to pass in the yusho race.


The strangeness of the final match, accompanied by clear worry on the faces of the shimpan as the gyoji needed assistance tying the Ozeki's mawashi back together, should not be dismissed. Nagoya is notoriously odd each year. The rikishi all leave their home base in Tokoyo, to go to a stifling hot city in the middle of the summer. On top of that, the air conditioning in the building is patchy at best. That results in every spectator maddeningly fanning themselves, rikishi slipping more than usual, and everyone looking especially gassed.


Hoshoryu, Nishikigi, and Hokutofuji are in the fortunate position vis a vis the yusho, but they will still have to work for it. Hoshoryu earned his opening day win against Tobizaru when it seemed that he looked like he touched down first. Nishikigi got his Day One win as a fusensho over then-missing Kirishima. Hokutofuji is, as always, in exciting matches that look like they could go either way. They've already all gotten lucky in some ways, and whoever wins the yusho will need much more.

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