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Natsu 2024 Day Fifteen




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

12 Wins--Yusho

09 Komusubi West Onosato


11 Wins--Jun-Yusho

03 Ozeki #1 West Kotozakura

11 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho


Notable Maneuvers

Kotenage. Kotozakura knew he could not win the Emperor's Cup before his match with Hoshoryu started. He still had Ozeki pride on the line, and he sent his fellow Ozeki down with a heavy and remarkably effective arm-lock throw.


Match of the Day

25 Maegashira #8 West Kotoshoho versus 11 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

Daieisho needed this match to stay in the yusho race, and he went out full guns blazing at Kotoshoho. As the match gained steam, though, Daieisho was sent to the edge. Then he dug in his heels and sent Kotoshoho back with a renewed pushing attack. THe match then essentially repeated. When Daieisho got Kotoshoho going back again, he also got him off balance and pushed him sideways and down. The yusho was lost for other events, but this win earned Daieisho a Jun-Yusho.


Recap

With a rather simple victory over Abi, Onosato became the champion for the Natsu 2024 basho. This Emperor's Cup comes in just his third Makuuchi basho and seventh career pro tournament. He has a career record of 68-21, with a 34-11 mark in the top division. Onosato also has a Yusho, Jun-Yusho, and six special prizes to his name. He will turn 24 between this and the next basho.


A yusho can sometimes seem like a career achievement, capping a long career or even punctuating a decent run by a high-level Maegashira. This one seems different. This is a young rikishi elevating to the very top of the sport. He will not make Ozeki before Nagoya, but the promotion conversation should be one of the storylines of the next basho. His most obvious historical comparison is 1970s Yokozuna Wajima, the only man to take the top rank after graduating University. Like Onosato, Wajima was a standout amateur who made quick work of making it to Ozeki and then Yokozuna after earning Makushita Tsukedashi status.


Yet Onosato is already ahead of Wajima's high standard. He was the best amateur sumotori in history, racking up 12 amateur titles. He then stormed through Makushita and Juryo. So far, Makuuchi has not slowed his progress. Wajima got his first yusho two years into his career, a few months after turning 24. Onosato has his first yusho before his 24th birthday. He is also slightly less controversial than Wajima, who seemed constitutionally incapable of following the JSA line.


What's scary is that Onosato can reasonably improve. His three losses to Takayasu, Hiradoumi, and Hoshoryu all seemed to somehow catch him by surprise. He can learn to stand his ground a little better when he gets to a disadvantage, planting his feet to use his strength. That's for a guy who just won a Yusho, steamrolling people most of the basho. He could take his sumo to the next level, but the next level would seemingly be zensho yusho and dominating the entire division.


His current opposition is quite a bit stronger than it may seem at first. Kotozakura and Hoshoryu fought like strong Ozeki this basho, even if they both had slips that kept them from winning a Yusho. Daieisho proved his March was a one-basho deviation from his Sanyaku form. Takerufuji and Hakuoho are recent young standouts who are battling back from injury, while Atamifuji and Hiradoumi are young rikishi looking to consolidate their top of the Banzuke credentials. Terunofuji and Kirishima could, theoretically, come back and hit pre-injury levels of performance. Yet sumo might reasonably be Onosato's to control for the foreseeable future.


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