Ozeki debutant Kisenosato continued his impressive performance at sumo’s second-highest rank, cutting down Miyabiyama in a powerful display on the third day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
Kisenosato was not fazed in the slightest by Miyabiyama, who stood up once as a delaying tactic before the pair locked horns at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
The Naruto stable ozeki went on full blast to charge Miyabiyama out with a barrage of shoves, moving to 3-0 to feature in a leading pack of 11 wrestlers, including yokozuna Hakuho, in the early going of the 15-day meet.
Miyabiyama, back at sumo’s fourth rank of komusubi, dropped to his third loss in a row.
“The timing was off before the face-off. But I thought my opponent would try to throw me off anyway,” said Kisenosato, who gained promotion after the Kyushu meet last November.
Hakuho, who is seeking his third consecutive championship and 22nd career title, got his left hand inside on Aminishiki and showed the winless top-ranked maegashira an abrupt exit with a hard shove to the chest in the day’s finale.
A title would place the lone Mongolian yokozuna in a tie with former yokozuna Takanohana for fifth on the all-time list.
“He is a skillful wrestler so I took a good look at him at the charge. I want to make sure that I’m in sync in my bout and I kept that in mind,” Hakuho said of Aminishiki, who also tried to stall for time before their bout got under way.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku (2-1), who bounced back from an opening day defeat a day earlier, wasted little effort on Okinoumi (0-3) as he got his right hand inside for a healthy grip on the mawashi before escorting him over the straw bales in dominant fashion.
Estonian behemoth Baruto (3-0) was backed to the edge by Goeido (0-3) but deployed an iron-clad armbar throw to send his opponent toppling to the dohyo.