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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2024 Day One

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Notable Maneuvers

Katasukashi. Maybe the under-shoulder swing down is becoming more prevalent, but Meisiei showed it can still surprise in his win over Onosho.

Match of the Day

02 Ozeki #1 East Hoshoryu versus 10 Maegashira #1 East Atamifuji

On paper, this match should have been about the youngster Atamifuji avoiding the throwing and tripping prowess of the Ozeki Hoshoryu. In reality, Atamifuji didn't avoid it, he stopped it. Atamifuji bottled Hoshoryu up with his size advantage, not always an easy thing to to do. Then he narrowed Hoshoryu's scope for movement. When Hoshoryu did go for a throw, Atamifuji was able to turn it to his advantage.


It was a day of upsets on Day One of Natsu 2024. Actually, that undersells it by a considerable margin. The Yokozuna lost. All 4 Ozeki lost. Both Sekiwake lost. It was a bloodbath at the top. The highest ranked man to win was the lone competing Komusubi Onosato, who toppled Yokozuna Terunofuji. The highest ranked sumotori who won without beating a Sanyaku man was Maegashira #4 West Ura.

On paper, the Sanyaku losses are not total shocks. Onosato is coming off two 11 win basho and will be a future star, so a Yokozuna could fall to such a rikishi. Atamifuji is also an up-and-comer, who beat a man with consistency issues in Hoshoryu. Daieisho is a former Sanyaku mainstay, while Hiradoumi and Gonoyama are at their career high ranks looking to prove something. Kotozakura, Takakeisho, and Kirishima shouldn't be expected to just bulldoze them all. The Sekiwake, Wakamotoharu and Abi, lost to two individuals who could do some damage to Sanyaku in Tobizaru and Takayasu, respectively. But they all still lost.

Overreacting to Day One of a sumo tournament is as old as organized tournaments. Panicking about upsets is the only thing anyone can really do on Day One. The problem for a few of today's named-rank losers is that the eye test wasn't so hot. Kirishima seems to still have his March problem of lacking his typical leg strength. Takakeisho looks a step slow, as Hiradoumi flat beat him at the tachiai for an easy pushing win. Terunofuji took one step backward and was in obvious leg pain. Those performances are worthy of concern for that trio's next two weeks of action.

Yet even if Kotozakura and Hoshoryu lost game battles to strong opponents, they face another problem. Onosato, Atamifuji, Gonoyama, Hiradoumi, and Takayasu all have a win on them in the yusho race after just one day. While there is time to make that up, the margin for error just got squeezed even tighter. They'll all have to face each other, but the Day One performances show there may not be a gimme in the joi. (Sadly, this may especially be true if the obviously battered Yokozuna and less than 100% Ozeki pull out.)

Maybe the Day One results should be flipped around. The headlines are easier as "The Sanyaku loses," but the better story is perhaps that Onosato, Atamifuji, Gonoyama, and Hiradoumi have announced themselves as real competitors. And Daieisho and Takayasu aren't going anywhere. Buckle up, because Day One was already wild and we have fourteen matches for every rikishi still to go.

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