Yokozuna Asashoryu of Mongolia lost to Chiyotaikai on Saturday but won his 18th Emperor’s Cup with a little help from compatriot Ama.
14th day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Asashoryu captured the title when Ama was defeated earlier by ozeki Tochiazuma.
With Asashoryu watching from the sideline, Tochiazuma fought off a series of slaps to the head and prevailed when Ama lost his footing in the center of the ring while trying to shove the ozeki out.
Ama, the only wrestler with a mathematical chance of catching Asashoryu heading into Saturday’s bouts, dropped to 10-4 while Tochiazuma improved to 9-5.
In the day’s final bout at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu and ozeki Chiyotaikai engaged in a fierce slap-fest that saw both wrestlers exchanging blows to the head.
Asashoryu, who dropped to 12-2, eventually forced his opponent to the edge and out but touched the dirt surface with his hand before Chiyotaikai (10-4) stepped out.
Before Saturday’s bout, Asashoryu’s only loss of the tournament came at the hands of Kisenosato.
In other major bouts, Bulgarian Kotooshu used a textbook arm throw to send fellow ozeki Hakuho tumbling to the dirt surface to improve to 9-5.
It’s been a disappointing tournament for Hakuho, who came into the 15-day meet hoping to earn promotion to grand champion. Instead of the 13 wins he would need to gain consideration Hakuho, who dropped to 8-6, will settle for a winning record.
Sekiwake Miyabiyama (8-6) ensured himself of a winning record in the fall tourney when he shoved out Russian Roho (9-5).