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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2023 Day Eleven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

10 Wins

01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji

36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama


9 Wins

03 Sekiwake #1 East Kiribayama


8 Wins

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

20 Maegashira #6 East Meisei

30 Maegashira #11 East Hokuseiho

39 Maegashira #15 West Tsurugisho


Notable Maneuvers

Tottari. Ura's arm bar throw against Nishikifuji was nice and caused the Isegahama rikishi to fall over and out. What made it was Ura's fancy balancing and dramatic back bend to stay standing as Nishikifuji crashed out.


Match of the Day

30 Maegashira #11 East Hokuseiho versus 06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

Makuuchi is still figuring out how to handle someone as big as Hokuseiho. Wakamotoharu went for the back-of-the-mawashi grip. Hokuseiho is also figuring out top-level wrestlers, and he regained his footing after a rough tachiai to stall out with a matching deep right hand inside-left hand outside grip. These two stalled for awhile with Hokuseiho leaning down on Wakamotoharu. The smaller man got the giant moving eventually, and then whipped out one of the best winning moves you'll see. Using his balance and momentum as much as strength, Wakamotoharu threw the massive Hokuseiho over and down with a beautiful utchari. That may be the last time Hokuseiho loses like that, because it's amazing Wakamotoharu could pull it off at all.


Recap

Terunofuji and Asanoyama both won, leaving the very top of the leaderboard unchanged. Terunofuji won a little more easily by latching on to Hoshoryu's upper arms for a simple kimedashi. The Yokozuna's power was most noticeable by the way Hoshoryu was shaking out his arms afterward. Asanoyama got a handful from Meisei, but he hung in for the win and a continued share of the lead.


The real action took place among the chase pack. Meisei's loss dropped him to two wins back, with Asanoyama moving further away in the yusho race. A similar thing happened to Hokuseiho when he was dramatically tossed over by Wakamotoharu. Wakamotoharu, Meisei, and Hokuseiho are all on three losses, and are now joined by Tsurugisho in the chase after his win over Mitakeumi. These men can all still win the yusho, but probably need to win out and get some luck.


The one rikishi at 9-2 after 11 days is Sekiwake Kiribayama. He would love to win a yusho, as would any Makuuchi wrestler. Kiribayama has another, and frankly more likely, goal for Natsu. He can become an Ozeki with a strong enough record. 11 wins should do it, and 12 may just be a guarantee. If he did win the yusho this time, he would be the first person to win consecutive yusho who was not an Ozeki or Yokozuna. That is not to dismiss Kiribayama's yusho chances, but to illustrate how impressive he is right now. He is on pace to get a promotion to sumo's second highest rank.


He will also get a chance to directly impact the yusho race. Terunofuji, Asanoyama, and Kiribayama all have still not faced each other during Natsu. They still won't on Day Twelve. Asanoyama does see a Sanyaku opponent, getting Daieisho as a new test for the basho. Terunofuji sees Sekiwake Wakamotoharu, while Kiribayama faces Ozeki Takakeisho. These matchups clear a designated Sanyaku opponent off Terunofuji's and Kiribayama's dance cards. Asanoyama should be filling one of those slots, and both if he keeps winning.


The 8-3 group absolutely could contain the eventual yusho winner, but Terunofuji, Kiribayama, and Asanoyama are the most likely eventual winners. That round robin won't begin until Day Thirteen at the earliest. Still, each day can change things if anyone falls. The leaders did not drop a match on Day Eleven. Instead, the yusho race got narrowed by losses in the group just behind them. Every match matters greatly.

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