Yokozuna Asashoryu slipped on a banana skin Monday as the fiery Mongolian got dragged down by countryman Kyokushuzan for his first defeat of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
Gunning for his first Emperor’s Cup as yokozuna, the 22-year-old from Ulan Bator got a little too cocky as he tore out of his charge too early and sent Kyokushuzan (4-5) flying before the referee ordered a restart at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
The former komusubi was quickest off the mark second time around and after weathering a storm arm thrusts that had him teetering on the edge of the ring, dodged to the right and hauled the yokozuna down by the back of the neck for his first win in six bouts between the pair.
The defeat meant Asashoryu slipped to 8-1 and stands just one win clear of ozeki duo Chiyotaikai and Kaio, sekiwake Wakanosato and rank-and-filers Buyuzan and Toki.
Chiyotaikai bounced back from Sunday’s upset defeat to Wakanosato as he quickly choked No. 3 maegashira Tamanoshima (5-4) with a vice-like grip and unleashed a windmill of slaps and neck thrusts to improve to 7-2.
Kaio also encountered few problems in notching his seventh consecutive win as he wrapped up Tosanoumi before marching the komusubi out for his sixth defeat.
In a bout between struggling ozeki, Tochiazuma (5-4) countered from what looked like certain defeat to bump out Musoyama (3-6), scoring a much-needed win while pushing his opponent nearer the relegation trapdoor.
Musoyama and Tochiazuma both need at least eight wins at the 15-day summer meet to maintain ozeki status for the Nagoya tournament in July.
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