- Fantasy Basho
Natsu 2023 Day Five
Public League Leaderboard
Scores from Fantasizr.
01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji
06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu
20 Maegashira #6 East Meisei
36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama
Henka. Abi sidestepped Daieisho at the jump, which Daieisho read. Abi still got the advantage by getting higher and to the side, so he got to win the pushing battle and hand Daieisho his first loss.
Match of the Day
14 Maegashira #3 East Tobizaru versus 02 Ozeki West Takakeisho
Tobizaru did two things that gave him a great chance against Takakeisho. First, he didn't get blown back at the tachiai. Second, he managed a belt grip. That only came about because of a nifty shift and re-engage after the first few exchanges. Takakeisho didn't get manhandled, but his attempt at a throw backfired when he couldn't tip Tobizaru first. The gyoji gave it to Takakeisho, but on review the Shimpan said Tobizaru kept his balance to stay up and in before Takakeisho hit the clay.
Four men stand undefeated after five matches. Maybe more importantly, five rikishi are just one loss behind. The nine rikishi in serious contention mean someone will fall back. Day Five, it was Daieisho's turn to move from the undefeated pool to looking up. Also, Takakeisho and Kotonowaka dropped from 1 loss to 2 losses. This attrition in the yusho race is going to keep happening day after day, simply thanks to the numbers of rikishi performing well at Natsu.
Terunofuji's knees still look like trouble, but his strength is clearly still intact. He lifted Ura over the edge one day after he did something similar to Tobizaru. Wakamotoharu keeps winning with smart, contained sumo that allows him to beat all comers so far. Among Sanyaku men, the one-loss group of Kiribayama, Hoshoryu, and Daieisho are all looking in good form with the exception of one trip up. The Sanyaku will have to eventually all face each other, making some excellent matchups.
In the Maegashira ranks, Meisei and Asanoyama remained undefeated. They are still avoiding each other for now, but challenges are looming before they square off or see any Sanyaku wrestlers. Hokuseiho and Mitoryu are on one-loss, which means they aren't really out of contention. They are also specific challenges, between Hokuseiho's immense size and Mitoryu's know-how. While Meisei and Asanoyama are performing exceptionally well, they are not free from slip ups.
Ten rikishi are currently at 3-2. Every rikishi is aiming first for the yusho, but most important long-term is getting a kachi-koshi to earn a promotion for the next basho. While the Sanyaku wrestlers are doing extremely well, significant turnarounds are not an unusual occurrence in a basho. The setup of the Natsu basho so far means that a huge win total will probably be needed for the Yusho. That is more dangerous for leaders, because losses will have an out-sized impact.
The middle five days of a basho determine who will be in the yusho race for the final five days. Right now, legitimately half of the currently competing Makuuchi rikishi could see themselves in the yusho race in a week. They can't all be there eventually, but who will be competing for the Emperor's Cup gets determined day by day.