Yokozuna Asashoryu rode his luck again to defeat Kyokutenho and keep his unbeaten record intact while ozeki Chiyotaikai blasted out Kyokushuzan to get his yokozuna promotion campaign back on track at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.
Asashoryu again failed to convince in an all-Mongolian affair at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan and needed every ounce of strength to tip komusubi Kyokutenho over the edge of the ring and maintain his share of the overnight lead at 4-0.
After repeatedly ramming the seemingly immovable Kyokutenho up against the ridge, the yokozuna huffed and puffed before finally managing to complete the job and avenge his only ever defeat by the komusubi on his debut at yokozuna in the spring meet.
Former ozeki Dejima is the only other wrestler to share the lead with Asashoryu after rank-and-filer Aminishiki and No. 1 maegashira Takamisakari both fell to their first defeats.
Chiyotaikai bounced back from his upset defeat to Takamisakari on Tuesday, tearing out of his blocks to dismantle No. 3 maegashira Kyokushuzan (1-3) with a pair of solid thrusts to move to 3-1.
The Kokonoe stable ozeki needs to notch up at least 10 more wins in the 15-day meet to be considered for promotion to yokozuna.
Elsewhere, relegation-haunted Musoyama put his nervy start to the tournament behind him to pick up the second of eight wins he needs to remain at ozeki and Kaio also evened his record after losing his first two bouts.
Musoyama had too much gumption for Takanonami (1-3) and ground out a hard-fought win.
Kaio managed to avoid becoming the second ozeki to be rocked by Takamisakari as he shook off the popular maegashira before barging him out with a strong right-handed shove.
But troubled ozeki Tochiazuma, also battling to retain his place at sumo’s second highest rank, was sent backpedaling out of the ring by top-ranked maegashira Tochinonada (3-1) and slumped to 2-2.
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