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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2023 Day Twelve




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.



Yusho Arasoi

11 Wins

01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji


10 Wins

03 Sekiwake #1 East Kiribayama

36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama


9 Wins

39 Maegashira #15 West Tsurugisho


Notable Maneuvers

Okuridashi. The official kimarite was the rear push out for Hoshoryu, but that was set up by bending down and under on the giant Hokuseiho to turn him around. It could be a good strategy against Hokuseiho, but someone probably needs to be as flexible AND strong as Hoshoryu.


Match of the Day

14 Maegashira #3 East Tobizaru versus 16 Maegashira #4 East Ura

Sumo's two most fun and wild rikishi had a very interesting match. They had a diffident tachiai, less out of caution and more because they both were going for a series of odd throws or sideways maneuvers. This led to a strange semi-slap-fest that lasted for a long time as no man found an advantage. In the end, Ura stepped too far sideways, Tobizaru went for the victory, and Ura managed the rarely seen "zubuneri," or head lock throw. Really, it may have been that you have to call it something besides "You know, he sort pushed on the neck, and then they both kind of slipped and that guy won because he stayed balanced better."


Recap

Terunofuji took alot from Wakamotoharu on Day Twelve, but he remained atop the yusho race in the end. Wakamotoharu was perfectly positioned as a spoiler, and even looked like he may have won two or three times, but Terunofuji's 11th win capped the day. That was huge, because Asanoyama lost to Daieisho a few matches before. Asanoyama is close to his best Ozeki form, but facing a Sanyaku man who could make sure he didn't get his match was too difficult. Daieisho made sure it was a tsuppari battle, and Asanoyama never got any purchase as he went straight back.


Asanoyama is now in a tie at 10-2 with Kiribayama. Kiribayama easily beat Ozeki Takakeisho by withstanding the initial shove and latching on with his right hand. His simple yorikiri kept him right in the yusho race and probably guaranteed an Ozeki promotion. He has reached the 33 wins over 3 basho rule-of-thumb, but there is no official criteria. He also has a yusho and jun-yusho in the last two basho, and is positioned to at least get another jun-yusho during Natsu. He is certainly one of sumo's top men right now.


And he seems poised to control his own destiny almost as much as Terunofuji. On Day Thirteen, Kiribayama faces the young, huge, and surprisingly strong performing Maegashira Hokuseiho. He is by no means guaranteed to win that match, because nothing is guaranteed in sumo and Hokuseiho is such a different opponent. He is the favorite, and can stay right in the thick of things with a win. One more win almost guarantees the Ozeki promotion.


Meanwhile, Terunofuji and Asanoyama will see each other in the musubi no ichiban. Terunofuji has a 5-0 career advantage over the former Ozeki, and the Yokozuna is one of the few men who isn't in a bind when chest-to-chest in a mawashi battle with Asanoyama. Asanoyama is more than capable of pulling Terunofuji back to two losses and creating last minute chaos, but he'll need to have his best match of Natsu.


The Day Thirteen schedule means Kiribayama will almost certainly finish with a match against Terunofuji and a match against Asanoyama. He will likely see them in that order, so the Yokozuna-Ozeki match is saved for Day Fifteen. It doesn't really matter when he sees them, because beating both would probably get Kiribayama at least a playoff spot if not a repeat yusho. Of course, Terunofuji needs to just keep winning himself and nothing else will matter. But all of that is easier said than done.

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