- Fantasy Basho
Natsu 2023 Day Seven
Public League Leaderboard
Scores from Fantasizr.
01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji
20 Maegashira #6 East Meisei
36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama
05 Sekiwake #2 East Daieisho
06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu
Hatakikomi. There were three slap-downs on Day Seven, with wins for Onosho over Hokutofuji, Tamawashi over Kotoshoho, and Tobizaru over Nishikigi. Elsewhere, it was a slippery day with rikishi flailing around.
Match of the Day
20 Maegashira #6 East Meisei versus 24 Maegashira #6 East Sadanoumi
Meisei was looking to stay undefeated, and Sadanoumi gave him a match. Meisei got the small advantage at the tachiai, by moving Sadanoumi back. Yet the real story of the match was that both men looked like they were going for mawashi grips that were continually blocked. They weren't shoving, but did inadvertently get into a slap fest. Meisei moved better, and got Sadanoumi moving back and out.
The three leaders coming into Day Six all won, leaving the top of the yusho arasoi the same. Yet Kiribayama and Hokuseiho lost to drop the one-loss group down to just Daieisho and Wakamotoharu. With each day, the yusho race gets narrowed down just a tiny bit more.
Asanoyama just ran over Ichiyamamoto. Meisei took Sadanoumi's best shot and won. Terunofuji manhandled the very large Kinbozan. They all demonstrated the kind of form that should keep them winning. However, Asanoyama and Meisei get different challenges on Day Eight that could trip them up. The Giant Hokuseiho will provide Asanoyama a test unlike any other rikishi. Meisei gets the always game and athletic Hiradoumi. Terunofuji, meanwhile, gets the struggling Kotoshoho.
Looming now is Takakeisho. For the first few days, the Ozeki did not look healthy and mostly seemed to be here to get his 8 wins to stay Ozeki. He looked like classic Takakeisho against Ura. The terrifying pusher-thruster could appear again during Natsu, and he will not be the pushover against fellow Sanyaku he may have seemed in the first few days. He is also on five wins, just two off the pace. Additionally, Takakeisho will face Hoshoryu, Kiribayama, Daieisho, Wakamotoharu, and Terunofuji. That may even be his Day Eleven through Fifteen slate in roughly that order.
That closing kick will be similar for all of the Sanyaku who have been performing well. A sumo basho is designed to be finished with the heavy-hitters all squaring off in the last few matches. This also gives plenty of people a chance. Hoshoryu is currently 5-2, with a remarkable two wins by default after Takayasu and Endo pulled out due to injury. Yet he is a skilled and capable rikishi who could beat anyone he sees, and he will get the rest of the Sanyaku to show he can beat anyone and take a surprise yusho.
The two men with a chance at ruining the Sanyaku round robin finish for the yusho are Meisei and Asanoyama. In many ways, their performances in the next two to three days will determine if they get to see Sanyaku opponents. If they fall to tougher Maegashira foes, they'll be out of the race. The Sanyaku gets a bigger chance. But if they all keep winning, then we've got a fun basho on our hands.