Hokutoriki easily overpowered Kotomitsuki on Thursday to remain the sole leader at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
Top maegashira Hokutoriki came bursting out of the blocks at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan and drove Kotomitsuki back with a double arm thrust to the neck.
After getting Kotomitsuki to the edge, Hokutoriki forced the komusubi wrestler out with one final shove to improve to 11-1. Kotomitsuki dropped to 6-6.
Elsewhere, grand champion Asashoryu, who lost to fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho on Wednesday to fall to 9-2, was all business and remained one win back at 10-2 when he shoved Wakanosato out in the day’s final bout. Wakanosato fell to 8-4.
Asashoryu went 15-0 in the Spring tourney and won the first five bouts of this meet but has looked vulnerable in losses to Hokutoriki and Kyokutenho.
In other major bouts, Georgian-born Kokkai continued his impressive run when he used his thrusting style to send Musoyama over the ridge for his first win against an ozeki wrestler.
Kokkai, the only European-born wrestler in the elite division, improved to 9-3 while Musoyama dropped to 6-6 and is now hoping to just salvage a winning record.
No. 5 maegashira Tamanoshima upset struggling ozeki Kaio to remain one win off the pace at 10-2.
Tamanoshima got an underhand grip of Kaio’s belt and lifted the larger ozeki over the ridge in a matter of seconds. Kaio, who lost to Wakanosato on Wednesday, dropped to 8-4 and is out of the running.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai was handed a gift when sekiwake Kyokutenho slipped at the face off and fell to the dirt surface.
Chiyotaikai improved to 8-4 while Kyokutenho picked up his fourth win against eight losses.
No. 4 maegashira Takamiskari got both hands on the belt of Miyabiyama and lifted him out to improve to 5-7. Miyabiyama fell to an unflattering 2-10.