Kotoshogiku shrugged off a pre-bout scare with an elbow from the sky, mowing down ozeki Harumafuji for his 12th win to keep his hopes for a first title alive at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Kotoshogiku, who has all but secured promotion to sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki with an outstanding performance thus far, got a turbo jump at the face-off before escorting Harumafuji over the ridge in a matter of seconds in the penultimate bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Yokozuna Hakuho, meanwhile, rebounded from his losses to Kotoshogiku on Friday and Kisenosato on the 12th day in a hard-fought win over Estonian ozeki Baruto to remain in a two-way tie for the lead with Kotoshogiku at 12-2.
Kotoshogiku winced in pain when Tochinoshin (7-7), who lost to Kakuryu (8-6), inadvertently fell on top of him when he was toppled over the edge as Kotoshogiku awaited his bout at ringside.
But Kotoshogiku took just four seconds to lift Harumafuji over the edge once he got his left hand inside for a firm belt grip on the Mongolian ozeki, who slipped to an 8-6 mark. He faces Baruto on Sunday.