Yokozuna Asashoryu clobbered Kotomitsuki in a fierce attack Tuesday to retain his share of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
In the day’s final bout at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, the Mongolian erupted like an angry volcano against his nemesis to stay in a two-way share of the lead at 9-1 with top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki, who disposed of Kokkai.
Asashoryu is seeking his third straight Emperor’s Cup after winning the spring basho with a perfect 15-0 record. Until Friday’s shock defeat to Hokutoriki, the grand champion had gone 35-0, surpassing former yokozuna Taiho’s run of 34 consecutive victories.
Asashoryu waited to set up the komusubi for the kill before using a body slam to dump Kotomitsuki to a 5-5 record. The yokozuna improved to 12-6 in career bouts against Kotomitsuki.
Elsewhere, Hokutoriki never gave Kokkai (7-3) a chance to come out the blocks, quickly ramming the seventh-ranked maegashira over the ridge with a firm frontal shove out.
Kinkaiyama dropped out of his share of the lead when he was barreled over in a matter of seconds by Tamanoshima, leaving both grapplers at 8-2.
Crowd favorite Takamisakari was slammed onto his back by Kotoryu (5-5), who deployed an outside leg trip immediately after the faceoff that sent the No. 4 maegashira to his seventh defeat.
Hakuho, a newly promoted makuuchi-division wrestler, posted his eighth victory for a winning record with a slap down of Tosanoumi, who dropped to 4-6.
In other key bouts, ozeki Kaio (8-2) kept his title hopes alive after obliterating Shimotori (3-7), using an underarm grip to heave the third-ranked maegashira wrestler over the ridge.
Sekiwake Wakanosato (7-3) got locked in a lengthy standstill with Chiyotaikai, but the ozeki prevailed with a twist down as both wrestlers tumbled to the surface.