Yokozuna Asashoryu continued his charge toward a third straight Emperor’s Cup by gunning down Kotonowaka on Monday to maintain his share of the lead heading into the final stretch of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.
With Friday’s shock defeat firmly behind him, the Mongolian brawler improved to 8-1 with a masterful display in the day’s finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan, quickly working the No. 5 maegashira to the edge of the ring before thrusting him over the straw ridge. Kotonowaka slipped to 4-5.
Rank-and-filers Hokutoriki and Kinkaiyama, kept their places among the front-running pack at 8-1 with six days of the 15-day meet remaining while sekiwake Wakanosato dropped out of the lead after a defeat to ozeki Musoyama.
Hokutoriki, who has beaten all three ozeki here as well as grand champion Asashoryu, kept his hopes of a first title alive when he weathered a fierce attack from Miyabiyama and countered to send the bumbling former ozeki out to his eighth loss with a series of arm thrusts.
In a battle of wrestlers with 7-1 records at the start of the day, Kinkaiyama prevailed in a tightly fought bout by twisting down Georgian grappler Kokkai to secure a winning record.
Under-achieving Wakanosato (7-2), who is wrestling in a record 15th straight basho in “sanyaku,” could do little in the face of a powerful charge from Musoyama (5-4), who improved his head-to-head record against the sekiwake to 16-7.
In other key bouts, Kaio (7-2) barely needed to flex his muscles as he bulldozed Mongolian sekiwake Kyokutenho (2-7) out in a matter of seconds while fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai (6-3) looked back to his old self as he pummeled out fourth-ranked Tokitsuumi (5-4) for a no-nonsense win.
Chiyotaikai had come into the tournament making a fresh challenge for promotion to sumo’s top rank of yokozuna but is now wrestling for his ozeki pride.
At komusubi, one- time ozeki candidate Kotomitsuki psyched out Asasekiryu in an entertaining bout to notch a fifth win and condemn his Mongolian opponent, who lit up the spring meet with 13-2 record, to an eighth loss.
Fifteenth-ranked Futeno (7-2) lost his share of the lead after being bumped out by eighth-ranked Takekaze, who improved to 6-3.