Kisenosato defeated Bulgarian Kotooshu on Saturday to ensure the hunt for the Emperor’s Cup will go down to the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
No. 16 maegashira Kisenosato shoved sekiwake Kotooshu out over the straw ridge at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan to improve to 11-3. Kotooshu, who was bidding to become the first European wrestler to win a title, dropped to 12-2 and will have to wait for Sunday.
Kotooshu, who lost for the second straight day, will face ozeki Chiyotaikai on the final day of action.
In Saturday’s final bout, Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu pulled into a two-way tie for the lead with a solid victory over Chiyotaikai.
Asashoryu, who is gunning for his sixth straight Emperor’s Cup, got both arms around Chiyotaikai and shoved his opponent out to improve to 12-2. Chiyotaikai dropped to 10-4 to fall out of the race for the title.
Asashoryu will face ozeki Tochiazuma on the final day. Kisenosato still has a mathematical chance to win it all but would need both Kotooshu and Asashoryu to lose to force a playoff.
In other major bouts, ozeki Tochiazuma muscled out Kotoshogiku to improve to 10-4. Kotoshogiku, a No. 6 maegashira, dropped to 7-7.
No. 4 maegashira Iwakiyama swatted down top maegashira Hakuho of Mongolia to improve to 7-7. Hakuho fell to 8-6 but will still finish the tournament with a winning record.
Earlier, in a marathon bout that lasted almost seven minutes, Mongolian Ama, a No. 11 maegashira, shoved out No. 6 Tokitenku to improve to 8-6. Tokitenku dropped to 6-8 in a bout that had to be stopped and restarted after four minutes to give the wrestlers a break.