Predictions for Hatsu 2023
The action is about to start for Hatsu 2023! Get over to Fantasizr, sign up, and pick your team now, if you haven’t.
The scheduled matches have been posted for the first two days of the Hatsu basho. That means we know both Terunofuji and Ichinojo officially will not be competing. The Yokozuna’s absence is sad, but not surprising. Ichinojo’s suspension was already announced. So the Torikumi contains the excellent news that every other top flight rikishi is healthy and competing in the Hatsu basho.
So, once again, I’ve made predictions. These are well-informed by my sumo watching and every piece you see on this website, but that doesn’t mean I am 100% confident in these. Predicting sumo wins and losses is an easy way to look foolish. Think of this as a bit of fun just before the basho starts, with the additional benefit of seeing some of my thoughts.
Komusubi Yusho! I have predicted Kotonowaka to lift the Emperor’s Cup. He would be the first Komusubi to do it since Takakeisho in November 2019. Before that, you need to go back to Wakahanada (the future Yokozuna Wakanohana) in 1993. Those yusho were both part of Ozeki runs. Just saying.
Speaking of Ozeki runs, I kind of think Hoshoryu will continue the one he began in Kyushu.
I am slightly worried about Takayasu’s condition. His state after his playoff loss wasn’t just due to shock and sadness. He looked like he was injured in some way.
The bottom of the Banzuke does not inspire confidence at all. Selecting the guy who will dominate lower Maegashira wasn’t exactly obvious. The Juryo promotees didn’t exactly get here by storming the gates of Makuuchi. The rikishi who dropped far in rank was Takarafuji, who looked terrible in November. Kotoshoho may find his footwork again, I guess.