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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2024 Day Nine



Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

7 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Kotozakura

09 Komusubi West Onosato

23 Maegashira #7 West Mitakeumi

28 Maegashira #10 East Shonannoumi

41 Maegashira #16 West Takarafuji


6 Wins

11 Maegashira #1 West Daieisho

17 Maegashira #4 West Ura

19 Maegashira #5 West Meisei

25 Maegashira #8 West Kotoshoho

35 Maegashira #13 West Churanoumi

36 Maegashira #14 East Ryuden

37 Maegashira #14 West Oshoma


Notable Maneuvers

Henka. MItakeumi, of all people, did the sidestep to easily handle Kinbozan. It was as surprising to Kinbozan as it was to anyone else in the Kokugikan.


Match of the Day

02 Ozeki #1 East Hoshoryu versus 14 Maegashira #3 East Takayasu

Takayasu came back from injury and was immediately placed in the musubi no ichiban against top-ranked Ozeki Hoshoryu. Before this match began, these two had a long staredown. Takayasu went down first, although clearly reluctantly, and then Hoshoryu seemed to try and take a surprise start. Takayasu was not surprised, latched on to Hoshoryu, withstood some leg trips, and won with a solid throw.


Recap

Day Nine was a day of upsets. Those upsets also directly impacted the yusho race. It began with the first Makuuchi match of the day. Churanoumi easily knocked back Takarafuji and pushed him back in the yusho race. In the last few matches, they started coming at a dizzying pace. Takanosho beat Ura, who is now on three straight defeats. Atamifuji quickly shoved out Daieisho in a sloppy match. Hiradoumi immediately took it to Onosato for a surprise win. And Takayasu closed it out with a nifty throw of Hoshoryu.


Kotozakura did not succumb to the upset fest, although Onosho pushed him straight back at the start. Since Kotozakura did rescue his match with a toss, he is part of the five man yusho leader group at 7-2 alongside Onosato, MItaekumi, Shonannoumi, and Takarafuji. Behind them are seven men at 6-3. So there are twelve rikishi with fairly solid yusho chances, if they can manage to win all or almost all of their matches in the last six days. As Day Nine demonstrated, that is much easier said than done.


Kotozakura is in the pilot seat, as the Ozeki among the leaders. He also has looked fairly strong. He did lose to Daieisho and Onosato, both of whome are in contention this basho. He also hasn't gotten totally rocked. There is little flash to Kotozakura. He keeps his feet, bends at the waist, and keeps his matches contained. That's how everyone should be fighting, but he's got the fundamentals to actually do it consistently. He can get the yusho by winning out and has the best case to do that on paper.


On the dohyo, he needs to start by beating Takayasu. Takayasu's basho has been a defeat of Wakamotoharu on Day One, a victory over Onosato on Day Two, six days out with injury, and coming back to win over Hoshoryu. That is unusual to say the least. He is undefeated in-ring during May 2024, but is also well out of the Natsu yusho race. Predicting what Takayasu can and will do is impossible, largely because he could beat anyone on his day or withdraw with a surprise injury.


Takayasu's presence shows just how strange this basho's final days can be. He may be looming as a gatekeeper for contending Maegashira. Does Mitakeumi, who busted out a henka to avoid Kinbozan on Day Nine, stand as a favorite against Takayasu? Could Shonannoumi or Takarafuji, who have been feasting on lower Maegashira, handle an in-form Takayasu? Neither question is a solid yes. No predictions seem like a solid yes, but with this many rikishi in contention someone will keep winning. We just have to see who can do it.

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