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Natsu 2024 Day Eleven




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

9 Wins

28 Maegashira #10 East Shonannoumi


8 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Kotozakura

09 Komusubi West Onosato

11 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

23 Maegashira #7 West Mitakeumi

37 Maegashira #14 West Oshoma

41 Maegashira #16 West Takarafuji


Notable Maneuvers

Shitatenage. Onosato is an extremely impressive young rikishi, who has spent this basho further proving he will be a future star. He also has yet to figure out how to avoid being the victim of a highlight throw to Hoshoryu. This is is his third loss to the Ozeki, all by the underarm throw.


Match of the Day

37 Maegashira #14 West Oshoma versus 25 Maegashira #8 West Kotoshoho

These two were fighting to stay in the yusho race, and they both gave it their all. At the tachiai, they began to get into the sort of hard and close pushing match that it resembles a rugby front line or American football blocking more than slapping. After doing that for awhile, they actually locked up. That seemingly favored Kotoshoho, but it was also the kind of awkward sideways grip that can't be fun for anyone. That caused a stalemate. Eventually, Oshoma managed to work Kotoshoho backwards slowly for the yorikiri win.


Recap

Shonannoumi is standing atop the yusho leaderboard with four matches left. Even in the wackiest of bashos, that wasn't a likely bingo card option. Shonannoumi is a good rikishi who has been a Maegashira for a year now. He debuted with 10 wins and a Special Prize last July, and he earned 9 Wins last time. He's good, but as a 26 year old still figuring out Makuuchi, he was not a favorite. Yet here we are.


His place has also been deserved during Natsu. Shonannoumi is on the big end even among top-division sumotori, and he's figured out his footwork recently. This has kept opponents in front of him, allowing him to frequently win by throws and slapdowns. On the other hand, he has not had the toughest schedule so far. His highest ranked opponent was Maegashira #7 Mitakeumi, whom he lost to. On Day Twelve, he will face Sekiwake Abi. That will be his third career match against a Sanyaku opponent, and he has lost the previous two. That includes a loss to Abi last basho.


And if Shonannoumi does fall, six rikishi are in position to pounce. His Day Eleven opponent Takarafuji also seems like he's about to fall back. If he does win on Day Twelve, though, he'll be knocking back Onosato from contention. Either way, someone is guaranteed to be at 9-3 after Day Twelve. Other contenders have tough matches with 7-4 rikishi. Even if Kotozakura, Daieisho, Mitakeumi, and Oshoma all lose, there's still going to be a huge group in mathematical contention.


The current 7-4 group includes Hoshoryu and Abi. In addition to being talented rikishi and former yusho winners, they could reach 11 wins while also putting dirt on other contenders. Hoshoryu still needs to see Kotozakura. Abi needs to see Kotozakura AND Onosato. They also still need to see each other, and that's all after Abi gets the first chance to beat back Shonannoumi's yusho chances. An 11-4 yusho is never likely in any basho, but the possibilities are here for Natsu.


When no one runs away with a basho, this is what happens. The large number of kyujo rikishi has also made the usual narrowing of the yusho race as Sanyaku men square off not happen with the same ferocity. A zensho yusho is a remarkable feat, but often makes the drama of the basho fall away. For Natsu 2024, we're looking at a closing stretch where many things can happen. We're almost guaranteed one of those odd or unique occurrences will happen.

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