Fantasy Basho Haru 2021 Round 2
- 5:06AM March 15, 2021
- William Floyd
Ichinojo beat Okinoumi by kimedashi, the "arm-bar force out." In other words, Ichinojo got his arms around Okinoumi's and drove him back with just that grip.
Match of The Day
Ozeki 2 East Takakeisho versus Komusubi 2 West Daieisho
These were the two men with the biggest lens on them coming into Haru. Did Daieisho have it in him to challenge for the yusho again? Did Takakeisho adequately recover from the injury that doomed his January Yokozuna run?
Those questions aren't quite answered yet, but these two just slammed into each other in an impressive fashion. The match was not a technical showcase, but it was fun. Despite the fact it ended with Daieisho falling forward after a mighty shove.
Two days of a sumo basho can deceive the eyes. There is still plenty of sumo left before anything is settled, and a two match sample isn't the best judge of a rikishi's current strength. Any declarative statements on ability are almost guaranteed to look foolish. Let's go with it it still.
At the top, the four Sanyaku wrestlers with 2-0 records are Hakuho, Takakeisho, Terunofuji, and Mitakeumi. Hakuho hasn't looked dominant, but he pulled out impressive moves to win both days. Takakeisho looks much more like the November version rather than the January version. Terunofuji has displayed his incredible strength winning twice. Mitakeumi is in his good form so far. These things could change, but it's better than the alternative. Shodai, Asanoyama, Takanosho, and Takayasu are even.
The one Sanyaku wrestler without a win (excluding Kakuryu, who is kyujo) is reigning champion Daieisho. Admittedly, he had a very tough opening schedule. Getting tackled by Hakuho and overpowered by Takakeisho is never anything to be ashamed of. Still, all losses count equally, and Daieisho is already two wins behind the leaders. That is assuming he turns it around.
Turning it around will be extremely difficult this basho. The Sanyaku is loaded. Upper Maegashira like Takarafuji, Onosho, and Hokutofuji have been to Sanyaku before and are always tough outs. Men like Wakatakakage, Meisei, Shimanoumi, and Kiribayama would love to get a taste of the titled ranks. These are supposed to be the winnable matches for Sanyaku this tournament.
Two days isn't much of anything in sumo, and the reason these two days are worth over-analyzing is that they are the first two days. For individual wrestlers, forecasting from two matches will be foolish. What can be forecasted is that this basho will be a lot of fun to follow.