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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Eleven

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

10 Wins

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

9 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji

8 WIns

05 Sekiwake #1 West Daieisho

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

39 Maegashira #16 East Endo

42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho

Notable Maneuvers

Okuridashi. Hakuoho, for all his success at a young age, isn't the type of rikishi to use spectacular kimarite. So some appreciation should be given to the way he went in and close on Takayasu and got a rear mawashi grip for a rear push out win over a former Ozeki. (It's also his kachi-koshi, guaranteeing he stays at Maegashira for September.)

Match of the Day

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji versus 06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

Hokutofuji has been one of the surprises of the basho, and that means he is getting some Sanyaku opponents. He began this match his way, and he was on pace to shove out Wakamotoharu. But Wakamotoharu, like he often does, moved his hands around, disrupted Hokutofuji's motion, and got a mawashi grip. For a pusher-thruster, Hokutofuji did very well and these two began moving back and forth on the dohyo. Wakamotoharu's steady unflappibility got him the win, but Hokutofuji came close to getting the upset.


Once again, Nishikigi is the sole leader. He had another efficient, effective win on Day Eleven over Endo. Wakamotoharu beating Hokutofuji was the second piece to the puzzle, and Nishikigi is once again in the pilot seat for the Yusho race. Nishikigi is fighting the very best he ever has, and now he needs to do it four more times to get a surprise yusho. Doing his sumo this well four more times is no easy feat, but that's his only task.

Everyone else will need some luck elsewhere. Hoshoryu and Hokutofuji are immediately behind Nishikigi in the yusho arasoi. Only one will stay at two wins after Day Twelve, since they face each other next. Hoshoryu is a supremely talented wrestler who is poised for an Ozeki run with two or three more wins. He also has a 5-0 career advantage over Hokutofuji, so Hoshoryu should be the favorite in their match. Going strictly by on-paper favorites would have led to many wrong predictions this basho, so Hokutofuji could upend the yusho race.

The quartet at 8 wins also have the chance to get back in the conversation. Daieisho and Wakamotoharu are Sekiwake looking for a possible Ozeki promotion. More importantly, they still need to face each other as well as Hoshoryu. On Day Twelve, the Sekiwake round robin is still put to the side. Wakamotoharu gets Ozeki Kirishima, who needs 3 more wins to avoid kadoban status in September. Daieisho will see Tamawashi, who Hoshoryu knocked out of a real yusho chance on Day Eleven. Someone's Ozeki hopes could easily fall apart on Day Twelve.

Endo and Hakuoho will come up from Maegashira #17 to see the Komusubi pair of Kotonowaka and Abi, respectively. Kotonowaka and Abi are meant to perform the Sanyaku role of knocking back Maegashira who get near the yusho race. Endo is better than Maegashira #17, but is clearly fully healthy after an injury. Hakuoho is, well, we don't know what he may be just yet. Hakuoho is 19, unbelievably talented, and just keeps winning at an absurd level for someone so young and inexperienced. These clashes aren't the headline bouts for Day Twelve, but they could be the most impactful.

And what about Nishikigi? Well, he faces 7-4 debutant Shonannoumi rather than anyone discussed above. Not only has Nishikigi faced every Sanyaku wrestler, including Terunofuji, and Endo. Of the six wrestler one or two losses behind him, Nishikigi's only remaining opponents are Hokutofuji and Hakuoho. That is why he has the simplest task. He just needs to focus on winning each match. Everyone else will be watching him, hoping he slips. That's the one thing he seems like he hasn't yet done in Nagoya this basho.

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