Goeido raised the roof with a major upset Tuesday, sending yokozuna Hakuho to his first defeat on the 10th day of action at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
The usually sharp Hakuho never got into motion in the day’s penultimate bout and found himself on the losing end when his sekiwake opponent came lunging forward at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hakuho still leads at 9-1, with rival yokozuna Harumafuji, ozeki Kisenosato, and rank-and-filer Homasho trailing one behind at 8-2, but the loss was certainly a blow to his ego and threw open the door to his challengers with just five days remaining at the 15-day meet.
Hakuho, who is aiming for his 27th career title and fourth in a row, tried an arm-pulling technique on Goeido (7-3) right out of the gate but never got a handle as his opponent came barreling ahead at full speed to knock him into the ring-side seats.
It was only Goeido’s second win over Hakuho in 22 meetings against the yokozuna.
Harumafuji, who is still struggling to make his presence felt as a relevant factor in the title race, bumped off Brazilian-born wrestler Kaisei (6-4), deploying the widely frowned upon sidestep maneuver in the day’s finale.
Kisenosato bounced back from the previous day’s loss with a bread-and-butter win over rival ozeki Kotoshogiku (6-4), staving off a fierce charge before upending his opponent over the ridge in a textbook frontal force out.
Kakuryu (7-3) moved swiftly to the side and got a hand on the back of Chiyotairyu”s (3-7) mawashi before swinging his opponent forward onto all-fours to snap a two-day losing skid.
In the lower echelon, makuuchi debutant Endo, who has quickly become a favorite among sumo fans, won his seventh bout by heaving out Tenkaiho (5-5).