FUKUOKA – Rank-and-filer Toyonoshima stunned ozeki Kaio at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday to keep alive his hopes of becoming the first Japanese wrestler in four years to win the Emperor’s Cup.
Mongolian yokozuna and tournament favorite Hakuho outlasted Estonian ozeki Baruto to also register his 13th win on the penultimate day of the meet, joining ninth-ranked maegashira Toyonoshima in a two-horse title race.
Defeats for Kaio and Baruto saw them both drop out of contention and into a share of second place at 11-3 with No. 14 maegashira Goeido.
With his father watching from the stands, surprise package Toyonoshima took out Kaio to score a priceless win, countering an attempted throw from Fukuoka’s favorite son and flooring the veteran with an under-the-shoulder swing.
“I’m pleased,” said Toyonoshima. “I was able to get forward and attack right from the tachiai (the faceoff). Tomorrow I want to go for broke.”
Toyonoshima on Sunday faces top-ranked Kisenosato, the man who ended Hakuho’s consecutive wins streak at 63 on the second day of the basho. Hakuho is up against ozeki Kotooshu.