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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2022 Day Twelve



Public League Leaderboard

Yusho Arasoi

10 wins

Maegashira #4 West Takanosho

9 wins

Yokozuna East Terunofuji

Maegashira #6 East Ura

Maegashira #12 West Sadanoumi

Notable Maneuvers

Tsukiotoshi. Ura did hit Takakeisho in the side, which led to the victory, and that is officially a thrust down. But the winning kimarite should be an ole, because Ura was on the tawara and managed to not only go sideways away from the Ozeki but danced around enough to let Takakeisho step out before he fell to the clay.

Match of the Day

Maegashira #2 East Kiribayama versus Maegashira #6 West Wakamotoharu

Kiribayama began the match with a sudden slapdown attempt that seemed to be a decision made in the middle of the tachiai. That should have made the match all Wakamotoharu, and he did begin pushing back. Then Kiribayama did those Misty Horse Mountain things, managing to get sideways while simultaneously breaking Wakamotoharu's grip. They began moving slower and slower until they hit a stalemate. Kiribayama never allowed Wakamotoharu to get comfortable; Wakamotoharu never let up on leaning into Kiribayama. That combo led to a Wakamotoharu yorikiri after a long match.


Takanosho remains firmly in command of the yusho race. His dispatching of Ichiyamamoto guaranteed he would stay sole leader, and a loss by Kiribayama thinned out the chase group. Takanosho gets the challenge of Sekiwake Wakatakakage on Day Thirteen, but the two have a nearly even matchup history. Ura sees the other Sekiwake, Abi, in what should be entertaining sumo. Sadanoumi will see a Komusubi when he faces Hoshoryu.

The third 9-3 rikishi is Terunofuji, and as is traditional for a Yokozuna he will face an Ozeki. He even starts with Takakeisho, the lowest ranked Ozeki. That would seem to mean he will square off with Shodai then Mitakeumi to close the basho. Although a basho should end with the Yokozuna facing all the Ozeki, none of those matches will impact the yusho race the way the Sumo Kyokai would want. Terunofuji and Ura haven't seen each other during Natsu, and in case of truly wild results, neither has Sadanoumi. Meanwhile, Shodai and Mitakeumi are both underwater at 5-7 and don't need to see the Yokozuna.

The Ozeki may be the unusual rikishi for this tournament, because their ranks are all safe for Nagoya. They may enter the July tournament kadoban and needing a winning record, but they will all stay Ozeki. Otherwise, everyone else seems to be in a battle for rank. The Sekiwake are both dead even, while Hoshoryu is 7-5. They will all need to win at least 8 matches to keep rank, and Wakatakakage and Abi could slide from Sanyaku if they lose out. Daieisho sits on 8 wins, and he may look to advance to Sekiwake with a nice closing kick. Kiribayama is fighting in a Sanyaku-promotion worthy manner. Takanosho should storm the named ranks.

At the bottom of the Banzuke 2-10 Kotokuzan and absent Ishiura are absolutely heading to Juryo. Who joins them is still an open question, with Ichiyamamoto the only man already at kachi-koshi at Maegashira #14 or below. He is also the only one currently with a winning record. The early matches in Makuuchi will determine who stays in Makuuchi for the rest of Natsu. Even Takarafuji, who only has two wins, may be trying to avoid a crash to the second division with another win or two.

The yusho race may not have a clash of leaders in the final few days, but intrigue will be hanging on every match. 25 rikishi could still get either a kachi-koshi or make-koshi, including most of Sanyaku. The yusho has permutations on permutations, many of which seem to point to a playoff. This basho never really settled, and it looks like nothing will be determined until the final day.

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