Natsu 2022 Day Seven
Public League Leaderboard
Maegashira #11 East Aoiyama
Maegashira #12 West Sadanoumi
Yokozuna East Terunofuji
Komusubi East Hoshoryu
Komusubi West Daieisho
Maegashira #3 West Tamawashi
Maegashira #4 West Takanosho
Maegashira #5 West Tobizaru
Maegashira #15 West Ichiyamamoto
Uwatenage. It was a day of throws, but Tochinoshin's full-spin, lifting overarm throw of Kotoeko to completely reverse the match stands out.
Match of the Day
Maegashira #14 East Oho versus Maegashira #14 West Yutakayama
The Makuuchi division started off strong, as the second top-division match was a thriller. Oho and Yutakayama began with a slapfest that sent both men around the dohyo while they were getting hit in the face. As Oho seemed to be getting taken backwards to the tawara, he actually countered with a mawashi grip. That led to a long stalemate, although Oho's position was always better. Eventually, Yutakayama couldn't overcome the steady pressure and went backwards over the edge.
A zensho yusho is no longer a possibility for Natsu 2022. That happened when a Maegashira #12 beat a Maegashira #11 on Day Seven, so it was probably unlikely anyway at this point. Sadanoumi's simple victory over Aoiyama, he just never let the Bulgarian get his tsuppari started, made them at least two of the joint leaders after seven matches. A loss earlier in the day by Ichiyamamoto combined with later losses by Tobizaru and Tamawashi meant they are the only joint leaders.
Tamawashi's loss to Takakeisho should not be an upset, as Takakeisho is an Ozeki, but felt like one in this tournament. Takakeisho actually looked on his sumo again, overwhelming the veteran Mongolian in a way that surprisingly betrayed Tamawashi's age. It's almost enough to make Takakeisho seem like a yusho threat. In a basho like this one, no one needs to absolutely dominate. They just need to perform well enough to be in the hunt and get lucky.
Terunofuji may be the only rikishi who may be an actual favorite, and he hasn't looked sharp enough to expect him to win every match over the next eight days. On Day Seven, Endo gave him a handful after the tachiai, but the Kaiju was too tough to handle and Endo fell under the Yokozuna's immense strength. Since he is a Yokozuna and just one win back, however, Terunofuji is most likely to face any other serious yusho threats before it's all said and done. That is one more benefit of being a Yokozuna.
The other two Sanyaku wrestlers one win back with Terunofuji are the Komusubi, Hoshoryu and Daieisho. Hoshoryu beat Abi on Day Seven by getting under the two-hands-to-the-throat style of Abi at the tachiai and grabbing the mawashi. It was chaotic but led to a Hoshoryu yorikiri. Daieisho beat Mitakeumi by just keeping up his attack. Komusubi are not usually yusho threats, because they face their hardest schedule in week one. Hoshoryu gets Shodai tomorrow and still needs to face the Yokozuna, but then will be done with Sanyaku. Daieisho, meanwhile, gets Takakeisho and then is done with the Sanyaku. Both men are 5-2, with Daieisho having beaten Terunofuji.
A Komusubi yusho is still unlikely, if only because this basho will get even more jumbled. With just two rikishi at 6-1 and seven at 5-2, a decent hot streak will put someone in control. The Yusho is still possible for almost anyone at 4-3 or better. That's a full 21 rikishi right now. This tournament still has a long way to go, and if it keeps up what the first week of matches delivered it will be a treat.