• Kyodo

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Ozeki Musoyama blasted out surprise package Tokitsuumi on Thursday as the title race opened up with three days remaining at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Victory left both Musoyama and No. 7 maegashira Tokitsuumi with 9-3 records, while ozeki Chiyotaikai and Kaio and maegashira pair Miyabiyama and Tosanoumi also stayed in the hunt for the Emperor’s Cup as each posted ninth wins at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Tokitsuumi had admitted earlier in the day that he was “more surprised than anyone” to be in sole possession of the lead after 11 days of the 15-day tourney. But there was nothing surprising about the way his three-bout winning streak came to an end.

Clearly nervous at the face-off, Tokitsuumi made a false start and when the bout got under way he went on the defensive and allowed Musoyama, who is gunning for his first title since the 2000 New Year meet, to quickly gain control.

The 29-year-old Tokitsukaze stable grappler did well to weather a pair of vicious neck thrusts but Musoyama’s attack appeared to take the wind out of his sails and the ozeki completed the job with a final blow to the head for the win.

Defending Nagoya meet champion Chiyotaikai left Toki (7-5) all shook up as he stormed out his crouch and made mincemeat of the No. 4 maegashira in a matter of seconds in the day’s penultimate bout.

Similarly, Kaio floored fellow ozeki Tochiazuma in a flash, the latter never recovering after being thrown off balance at the charge to drop to an even 6-6 record.

Former ozeki Miyabiyama, currently wrestling as a top-ranked maegashira, had a tough time containing seventh-ranked Hokutoriki (7-5) but prevailed thanks to a flurry of powerful neck thrusts to score his ninth win.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi (9-3) grabbed his piece of the lead after chasing out 12th-ranked Kasuganishiki, who slipped one win back to 8-4.

Wakanosato secured a winning record by taking out fifth-ranked Kotoryu with minimal fuss but Mongolian Kyokutenho slipped to 4-8 on his sekiwake debut after losing an entertaining bout to maegashira Takamisakari (8-4).

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