Kyokutenho topples Asashoryu

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu lost to fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho on Wednesday, relinquishing his Summer Grand Sumo Tournament lead to Hokutoriki.

Fighting in the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu went on the offensive but couldn’t get a solid grip of Kyokutenho’s belt.

Kyokutenho then maneuvered Asashoryu to the edge and calmly lifted him out to improve to 4-7. Asashoryu, who went 15-0 in the Spring tourney and won the first five bouts here, dropped to 9-2, one win back of Hokutoriki.

In other major bouts, top maegashira Hokutoriki made quick work of Kinkaiyama to improve to 10-1 and take the sole lead.

Hokutoriki stood Kinkaiyama up at the face off and then deployed a barrage of arm thrusts to send the No. 13 maegashira spinning over the ridge. Kinkaiyama, who never had a chance against the determined front-runner, dropped to 8-3.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai’s nightmare tournament continued when he was spun around at the edge by Takamisakari and shoved out to suffer his fourth loss against seven wins.

No. 4 maegashira Takamisakari, who goes through a bizarre pre-bout ritual of slapping himself in the face, improved to 4-7.

Musoyama became the second ozeki casualty of the day when he was forced out by Tamanoshima after failing to get a grip of his opponent’s belt.

Musoyama fell to an unimpressive 6-5 while No. 5 maegashira Tamanoshima picked up his ninth victory to remain just one win off the pace.

It was a bad day all around for the ozeki ranks. In the day’s penultimate bout, Kaio was driven out by sekiwake Wakanosato to give both wrestlers an 8-3 record.

Elsewhere, struggling komusubi Miyabiyama salvaged a little pride when he sent Tochinonada sprawling to the dirt surface with a well-timed arm throw.

Miyabiyama improved to 2-9 while top maegashira Tochinonada fell to 3-8.

Meanwhile, Georgian-born Kokkai (8-3), a No. 7 maegashira, used his thrusting style to send No. 16 maegashira Hakuho (8-3) over the ridge.