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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Seven



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Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

6 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

22 Maegashira #7 West Tamawashi

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji


5 Wins

05 Sekiwake #1 West Daieisho

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

07 Komusubi East Kotonowaka

21 Maegashira #7 East Takayasu

33 Maegashira #13 East Gonoyama

36 Maegashira #14 West Shonnanoumi

38 Maegashira #15 West Takarafuji

39 Maegashira #16 East Endo

42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho


Notable Maneuvers

Uwatenage. Asanoyama got his strong left hand on Hoshoryu's mawashi, but Hoshoryu blocked the right and got in position for a throw. After two blocked attempts, he spun Asanoyama completely over and around in a textbook over arm throw.


Match of the Day

11 Maegashira #2 East Shodai versus 10 Maegashira #1 West Tobizaru

Shodai and Tobizaru are both masters of chaos sumo, but this one wasn't wild as much as controlled back-and-forth. They started in the kind of slap battle when each guy blocks the other's grip. Then Shodai went for a frontal grip, which Tobizaru moved his arm around. Shodai spun the match around, although Tobizaru was able to push Shodai back. At the edge, Shodai gave one last effort to move on the tawara, but it was Tobizaru who held on to his position longest for the win.


Recap

And on the seventh day of the Nagoya basho, there were no more undefeated rikishi left. Kotonowaka easily handled Nishikigi using his brand of sumo. Nishikigi has largely been winning by exploiting the tiniest of weaknesses in his opponents. Kotonowaka grabbed Nishikigi, kept his feet, and powered him backwards. Easy yorikiri win for Kotonowaka. FIrst loss for Nishikigi.


That put Nishikigi into a four-way tie atop the Yusho Arasoi. Hoshoryu's mighty toss of Asanoyama made him the only Sanyaku man in that quartet. The other two rikishi are Tamawashi and Hokutofuji. The 37 year old Tamawashi is sumo's grand old man now, although he did win a surprise yusho last September. Hokutofuji has been finding his footing as a mid-Maegashira veteran in the past year. Both have had some pretty strong performances in their careers, but their records are somewhat unexpected. Since Hoshoryu is looking to finish off an Ozeki run, that would make him the favorite in some ways.


Except that claiming a favorite among four men in a tie who sit ahead of a pack of 11 rikishi one loss back is difficult. Daieisho and Wakamotoharu are, like Hoshoryu, Sekiwake with a chance for an Ozeki promotion if they perform well enough. The three Sekiwake all need to face each other still, which means they will create more chaos. Additionally, Kotonowaka is also in the 5-2 block, and he has yet to see Hoshoryu and Wakamotoharu. This basically guarantees someone will fall off, although they could all beat each other up.


Nishikigi has now faced the entirety of the Sanyaku this basho, and that does give him a seemingly prime position. On the other hand, he still hasn't faced Tamawashi, Takayasu, or Hokutofuji. If they all keep winning, they're likely to see one another at some point. The five lower Maegashira in the 2 loss group, Gonoyama, Shonannoumi, Takarafuji, Endo, and Hakuoho have also largely seen each other now. They aren't immediately going to jump up to see Nishikigi, but it's always a possibility.


The immense possibilities for the next eight days make the Nagoya basho exciting. There is also another wild card in the form of shin-Ozeki Kirishima. He missed the first few days through injury as well as experiencing the usual post-promotion stress. He is not in Yusho contention, but will really, really want to reach 8 wins to avoid immediate kadoban as an Ozeki. He, too, will need to face many of the contenders and can play spoiler. Get set for a fun second week.

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