Yokozuna Hakuho got his campaign for a 12th Emperor’s Cup back up and running with victory over Kotoshogiku at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Chief rival for the title Asashoryu, meanwhile, barged out Tamanoshima and Kotomitsuki also stayed undefeated at 7-0, but Kotooshu dropped out of a share of the lead on a day of contrasting fortunes for ozeki at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Nagoya champion Hakuho, Kotooshu and Kakuryu share second place heading into the second week of the 15-day meet.
Asashoryu, seeking his 24th career title and first in three meets, got an early fright in his meeting with Tamanoshima (1-6) but quickly regrouped to get behind the third-ranked maegashira and march him out of the dohyo.
Hakuho had only lost three bouts this year until he was stunned by rank-and-filer Shotenro on Friday, but the yokozuna was never in danger of back-to-back defeats in the day’s last bout, flooring sekiwake Kotoshogiku (3-4) with a trademark beltless arm throw.
Kotomitsuki extended his winning streak when the ozeki got a firm right-handed grip on Toyonoshima’s (3-4) belt and watched the fourth-ranked maegashira crumple to the clay surface.
However, Kotooshu found himself in trouble against Kakuryu and allowed the top-ranked maegashira to grab him by the back off the neck before finishing the job with an impressive arm-bar throw.
Chiyotaikai was next to bite the dust, Miyabiyama reading the Kokonoe stable ozeki like a book and pulling him down to a third consecutive defeat. Both wrestlers are 2-5.
Kaio (4-3), wrestling in a record-tying 97th tournament in sumo’s top makuuchi division, escaped unscathed as the ozeki spotted an opening and got both hands on Tochinoshin’s (2-5) belt to muscle out the Georgian No. 1 maegashira.
Harumafuji also turned in an impressive display and flipped over sekiwake Kisenosato with a textbook “uwatenage” overarm throw to leave both men with 4-3 marks.