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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2024 Day Eight

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

7 Wins

09 Komusubi West Onosato

41 Maegashira #16 West Takarafuji

6 WIns

03 Ozeki #1 West Kotozakura

11 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

17 Maegashira #4 West Ura

23 Maegashira #7 West Mitakeumi

28 Maegashira #10 East Shonannoumi

Notable Maneuvers

Hatakikomi. So in addition to the strength and skill, Onosato has the quickness to jump out of the way of an oncoming Daieisho. That's what he was faced with after their match separated from an initial pushing battle. He won with a slap down that came from Daieisho running right to his side.

Match of the Day

36 Maegashira #14 East Ryuden versus 41 Maegashira #16 West Takarafuji

In the second matchup of Makuuchi (and first with two Maegashira), we had an impactful bout for the yusho race between two veterans doing surprisingly well. And they were remarkably even, locking up in a mirrored group and moving each other around. Then at the edge, Takarafuji threw Ryuden, but in a way that allowed Ryuden to get slightly up and push Takarafuji down. They landed at almost exactly the same time. A replay only made the photo finishi nature of their fall more confusing. Yet it also showed Ryuden's left foot was out before the throw.


After eight matches, the two leaders in the yusho race are Onosato and Takarafuji. That is a perfect contrast of Makuuchi experience, as Onosato is in his 3rd career top division basho and Takarafuji is in his 74th. They also got here in very different ways. Onosato is a Komusubi, which usually means getting your toughest matches in the first week and quickly being underwater. Instead, he's been winning against fellow high-rankers. Takarafuji is the next-to-last rikishi on the Banzuke, and has been facing fellow lower-Maegashira. So far he has stood out from the crowd.

They also have different results from the eye test. His one loss was to Takayasu, which came when he felt one of the strongest tachiais in recent memory for the first time. The blast may have even been strong enough to have injured Takayasu's back. (Note: Takayasu will be back competing on Day Nine in the final match against Hoshoryu.) No shame in losing that match, and in every other match Onosato has been truly impressive. He steamrolled Terunofuji on Day One, causing him to withdraw. Since he has also beaten two Ozeki in Kirishima and Kotozakura, a Sekiwake in Wakamotoharu, and both Maegashira #1. He's cruising against a tough slate.

Takarafuji is just hanging on in many of his wins, but all the wins count the same. He is back from a one-basho stop in Juryo, after a lengthy Makuuchi tenure. Back in familiar territory, he's using his veteran savvy. The schedule just hasn't been that difficult yet. The highest ranked man he has squared off with was Maegashira #13 East Mitoryu on Day Seven. He has only seen two rikishi with winning records, Ryuden and Oshoma. He will see higher-ranked and better performing wrestlers if he keeps winning, even by just being a hair more competent than other lower Maegashira.

Despite their very different careers and basho to this point, Onosato and Takarafuji are both looking for their first career yusho and second career Jun-Yusho. Onosato was a runner up in March. Takarafuji got his Jun-Yusho in March 2013, when Onosato was 12 years old. Onosato is the future of sumo, barring major injury. Takarafuji looked like he was done just a few months ago. They are in the same position in the yusho race, and they just need to keep up their winning ways.

Plenty of rikishi are ready to pounce, while many more can play spoiler. Kotozakura and Daieisho are the highest-ranked rikishi on two losses, and each one has already faced and lost to Onosato. He does still need to see Ozeki Hoshoryu and Sekiwake Abi, and could see Ura, Mitakeumi, or Shonannoumi at some point soon in tough matches. Takarafuji has seen none of the men listed previously in this paragraph. He will likely be scheduled against them at some point. Those scheduling details may be what decides the yusho race.

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