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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2024 Day Three




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Katasukashi. As usual with Ura, they called it an under-shoulder swing down because it had to be something. The best description for what he did was take Onosho's arm right as he was about to be pushed out, then sent Onosho off the dohyo with an extra oomph and ole motion.


Match of the Day

12 Maegashira #2 East Hiradoumi versus 03 Ozeki #1 West Kotozakura

Hiradoumi got the jump on the Ozeki. In fact, Kotozakura almost looked like he thought it was a matta, but no false start was called and the match happened. Remarkably, Kotozakura still planted his feet even though he was off balance. Kotozakura did gather up Hiradoumi as best he could, but Hiradoumi wasn't going down easy. Still, the Ozeki showed his power and quality by gaining a win.


Recap

Hoshoryu got his first win in semi-convincing fashion by moving Daieisho around and out. But then Kirishima lost to Atamifuji after the big Isegahama youngster just overwhelmed him. So the Natsu basho did not have a semblance of normalcy on Day Three in the end. To add to that weirdness, Takayasu had to pull out with a surprise back injury after looking as strong as anyone in the first two days.


The seven rikishi who are undefeated after three matches are Ura, Mitakeumi, Shonannoumi, Kinbozan, Ryuden, Oshoma, and Takarafuji. None of these were exactly pre-basho favorites. Ura just got done showing despite his skill that he wasn't ready for Sanyaku. Mitakeumi is a former Ozeki who is a shell of himself. Shonannoumi and Kinbozan are relatively new Maegashira figuring out their current levels. Ryuden and Takarafuji are veterans who have fallen on hard times in recent basho.


Don't bet on any of them to keep winning over the next 12 days. For one, Natsu doesn't seem to want to be that simple. The other thing is that these are all rikishi who all seem vulnerable in some way, despite strong starts. Also, there are seven of them and they are all Maegashira. Some point soon, they'll all start facing each other. A basho is relentless at weeding out contenders, because they can always get scheduled to knock each other off the leaderboard. If someone survives that, Sanyaku opponents will be waiting.


Despite the flurry of losses in the first three days, the Sanyaku is still challenging. Wakamotoharu showed Gonoyama what Sekiwake-level sumo can be for his first loss, while Hoshoryu handed Daieisho his first defeat. Kotozakura took Hiradoumi's best and showed an Ozeki is still better than that. Even Onosato, the man making his Sanyaku debut, seemed to anticipate Tobizaru's up-and-under. At the very least, he powerfully sent the Flying Monkey backwards before any real tricks could be deployed. Overall, consider a Sanyaku wrestler slightly favored for the yusho over a Maegashira.


Specifically, though, this basho shouldn't have a favorite. We're in anyone-can-beat-anyone territory. Also, almost everyone has a little something to fight for. Ozeki want to keep rank and possibly elevate to Yokozuna. The lower Sanyaku want to maintain their ranks against a host of upper Maegashira who are just as capable of taking those spots. And lots of people seem to be in a position to keep one eye on the Emperor's Cup.

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