NAGOYA – Little-known Tokitsuumi grabbed the sole possession of the lead with his ninth victory after a dominating display of power over ozeki Tochiazuma on the 11th day of action at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.
While the seventh-ranked maegashira flipped the script in the penultimate bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium to move to 9-2, ozeki Musoyama walked away the vanquished in an upset to Toki to fall into a pack of six wrestlers one behind the leader at 8-3 with just four days remaining in Nagoya.
Tokitsuumi gave Tochiazuma a run for his money and won the whole pot, allowing no leeway as he manhandled the ozeki with a stiff right-handed grip and eventually escorted him over the straw bales to the amazement of the crowd.
Musoyama charged quickly out of the blocks in the final bout but the fourth-ranked maegashira Toki (7-4) kept the ozeki at bay with some well-placed head thrusts before using the forward momentum to drop his opponent to his third loss.
Kaio, who is in the chase for his first Emperor’s Cup since Nagoya 2001, wrapped his hefty arms around Kyokutenho (4-7) before slinging the sekiwake down by the “mawashi” for a bread-and-butter eighth win.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai knocked Tosanoumi (8-3) down a rung and out of a share for the lead as he bludgeoned the fifth-ranked maegashira with a flurry of thrusts to the neck before shoving him to the clay.
Chiyotaikai, the defending Nagoya champion, improved to 8-3 and seeks his fourth overall title as the 15-day tourney winds down.
Top-ranked maegashira Miyabiyama (8-3) notched a winning record in his third consecutive tournament with a convincing frontal force-out of Kaiho (6-5) and still has a shot for the coveted hardware.
Kotomitsuki, a former ozeki candidate, had a fierce but quick exchange with the ever-popular Takamisakari. The swashbuckling third-ranked Takamisakari stopped Kotomitsuki dead in his tracks before pulling him abruptly to the dirt surface, leaving both men at 7-4.
In earlier bouts, Mongolian Asasekiryu (6-5), a ninth-ranked maegashira, spun deftly around Kinkaiyama (6-5) before shunting the 15th-ranked maegashira over the ridge for a comfortable victory.
Twelfth-ranked maegashira Kasuganishiki (8-3) swept down No. 14 maegashira Ushiomaru (5-6) to post his first winning record in the elite makuuchi division and stayed in arms length of the leader.
Mongolian Kyokushuzan, who has been embroiled in a bust-up with resting yokozuna Asashoryu in and out of the ring, fell to his 10th defeat in a one-way affair with Tochinonada (5-6).
The fallout with his grand champion compatriot appears to have settled after Kyokushuzan put in a call to Asashoryu, asking that the two resolve their differences for the sake of sumo.
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