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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Nine



Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

8 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji


7 Wins

05 Sekiwake #1 West Daieisho

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

39 Maegashira #16 East Endo


Notable Maneuvers

Kakenage. Hoshoryu is, by far, the best rikishi on one leg. On Day Nine, he put his right leg inside of Hiradoumi's left to do what looked like an intertwined shiko but really gave Hoshoryu the hooking inner thigh throw win.


Match of the Day

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi versus 12 Maegashira #2 West Mitakeumi

Mitakeumi's muscle memory from his time as an Ozeki and yusho winner is still there, but his body is betraying him. So this match began with Mitakeumi getting a lock on Nishikigi and taking him to the edge. But the former Ozeki didn't have the power to finish it off, and Nishikigi pushed him back. That still didn't give Nishikigi the win, but he did keep working and pushing to wear down Mitakeumi and eventually, finally, slowly work his way back around to push Mitakeumi out.


Recap

The three leaders maintained their positions, all with different kinds of drama. Hoshoryu did his spectacular leg throw thing while wrapped up with Hiradoumi to keep himself at 1 loss. Nishikigi battled the suffering Mitakeumi. Hokutofuji bulldozed Oho in a slightly out of control match. The leaders were not invincible on Day Nine, but they did all get wins.


Tamawashi, Takarafuji, and Hakuoho all fell from the two loss group, narrowing the broader leaderboard quite significantly. Only Daieisho, Wakamotoharu, and Endo now stand at 7-2. Daieisho and Wakamotoharu are standing alongside Hoshoryu as Ozeki hopefuls who are also fighting for the yusho. 12 wins would make each of them comfortably Ozeki, especially as that would likely also earn a Jun-Yusho. Reasonably, for them to reach those totals, each needs to win out and then have a 1-1 round robin score when they all do fight.


That is much easier said than done. Daieisho handled Abi in an oshidashi battle on Day Nine, but that isn't a bout that anyone comes out of feeling better. Wakamotoharu was at the edge and turned it around against Ura to get the sukuinage in the end. They're in position for Ozeki promotions for a reason. Yet the overall number of Ozeki in sumo history tell you it's not as simple as just doing your best sumo. Your best sumo needs to be very good, you can't slip up very often, and you need to get just a little luck. All three could be holding a giant fish at the end of the basho, but it would be a monumental occurrence for a reason.


And the most recent Ozeki promotion is standing in each of their ways. Kirishima cannot realistically get the yusho. His best total would be 9 wins. Based on the eye test, he also is clearly still struggling with the injury that made him miss the first few matches. He will also finish each day's schedule as the highest ranked man competing, and he will likely see the three Sekiwake hoping to join him. Kirishima's dangerousness will come from his skill, experience, and quality, but also from the fact he really, really would like 8 wins in his first Ozeki basho.


The six men who have the best shot at the yusho right now are still not squaring off on Day Ten to provide some clarity. The basho has not yet come to the point where real eliminator matches will occur. The holding pattern continues for at least another day or two. But an on-paper holding pattern doesn't mean everyone will win each match they should, and we are now deep enough into the basho for each day to make a huge difference.

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