Bulgarian Kotooshu brushed aside Hokutoriki on Thursday to move a step closer to his first Emperor’s Cup heading into the final three days of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Kotooshu, who is making his sekiwake debut, wasted little time when he got a grip of Hokutoriki’s belt at the center of the ring and threw the No. 7 maegashira down to improve to a perfect 12-0. Hokutoriki dropped to 7-5.
In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu bounced back from an upset defeat on Wednesday and dispatched No. 6 maegashira Kotoshogiku with an arm throw to improve to 10-2. Kotoshogiku fell to 7-5.
Kotooshu will face Asashoryu on Friday with a chance to eliminate Asashoryu. Lower-ranked grappler Kisenosato would still be in the running with a win over Kyokutenho on Friday.
Mongolian Kyokutenho, a third-ranked maegashira, used a textbook arm throw to send compatriot Hakuho sprawling to the dirt surface.
Kyokutenho improved to 8-4 while top maegashira Hakuho fell to 7-5.
In an earlier bout, Kisenosato, a No. 16 maegashira, fought off an arm throw by Roho at the edge of the ring and shoved the tenth-ranked maegashira out to stay in the hunt while improving to 10-2. Russian grappler Roho fell to 7-5.
Chiyotaikai, who has already wrapped up the winning record he needs to maintain his ozeki status, used a barrage of arm thrusts to send fellow ozeki Tochiazuma over the edge.
Chiyotaikai improved to 9-3 while Tochiazuma dropped to 8-4.
Elsewhere, No. 2 maegashira Kakizoe came charging out of the blocks and shoved komusubi Kotomitsuki out in a matter of seconds to improve to 4-8. Kotomitsuki, who was slow on the faceoff, fell to 7-5.
No. 5 maegashira Aminishiki came back down to earth after upsetting Asashoryu on Wednesday when he was shoved out by ninth-ranked Takekaze. Both wrestlers stand at 6-6.
No. 2 maegashira Kokkai of Georgia continues to struggle and was muscled out by Dejima to fall to an unflattering record of 2-10. Dejima, a No. 3 maegashira, improved to 4-8.