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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Thirteen



Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

11 Wins

26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji


10 Wins

04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho


9 Wins

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

07 Komusubi East Kotonowaka

36 Maegashira #14 West Shonnanoumi

37 Maegashira #15 East Ryuden


Notable Maneuvers

Shitatenage. Of course, Ura and Tobizaru weren't going to finish a match with a yorikiri. Instead, after Tobizaru's mawashi almost came off, they almost seemd to throw each other together and fall hard but spectacularly with Ura being on the bottom.


Match of the Day

09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi versus 42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho

Hakuoho shouldn't just be winning as much as he has as a 19 year old in his fourth professional basho and first Makuuchi basho, but he shouldn't be winning the way he has. Nishikigi had him at the tawara and attempted a throw. Hakuoho held his feet, regrouped, and went forward. Then he also got his feet between Nishikigi's, but Nishikigi made it a stalemate. The 31 year old veteran in the best form of his career should have the advantage there, but Hakuoho never seemed phased. In the end, he got the devastating and impactful win with an uchigake inside-leg-trip.


Recap

Hokutofuji stands alone. He dispatched Endo fairly simply early on in the Makuuchi match card, and then he had to see how the other matches play out. Hakuoho pulled NIshikigi back to 10-3, and then Hoshoryu handled Kirishima in a determined battle to stay on three wins himself. Now Hokutofuji is the sole leader with just two days left, with a great shot at a yusho. He's already tied his best record ever in Makuuchi (he's actually had 11 wins four times before), and he's almost certainly secured his third career special prize.


Hokutofuji will want more, but he's got a tough road ahead. On Day Fourteen, he will see Hakuoho. The Makuuchi debutant should be an easier matchup, but that's not how Hakuoho is fighting. Their clash will be the highlight bout on paper, and it will take place relatively early since it's a Maegashira #9 versus a Maegashira #17. Hakuoho could easily win it after how he performed against Nishikigi, and that would create a huge opening for his yusho chances. That Emperor's Cup ceremony would be historic, although Hakuoho wouldn't top Takanohana's record for youngest-ever winner by a matter of months. We are at least in the range of it needing to be noted.


Hokutofuji's final match will certainly be against Nishikigi. Nishikigi's Day Fourteen match is against Ryuden, one of four rikishi on nine wins who have a theoretical chance. Nishikigi can't face Hoshoryu or Hakuoho because he has already seen them this basho. The final day opponent for Nishikigi is fairly uncertain, but the Sanyaku are out and so is the other 9-4 rikishi Shonannoumi. Whoever he faces, Nishikigi probably needs to win his final two matches.


Hoshoryu meanwhile will almost certainly see Hakuoho on Day Fifteen, having already lost to both Hokutofuji and Nishikigi. His Day Fourteen opponent is Wakamotoharu. Wakamotoharu took away Daieisho's Ozeki chances for September in their Day Thirteen match. Hoshoryu will be wanting to seal his Ozeki promotion with a win over a fellow Sekiwake. That also keeps him with a shot at the yusho. Then all he has to do is beat sumo's rising star in his final match.


Hokutofuji could actually seal the yusho on the basho's penultimate day. He needs to win, obviously, and have both Nishikigi and Hoshoryu fall. The likelihood is slim. That probably doesn't change the Day Fifteen matchups, because the options are fairly limited. It also does not change what his basic focus needs to be. He has to win his next match, just like everyone else.

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