NAGOYA – Ozeki Kaio and Chiyotaikai both posted convincing 11th wins on Saturday to set up a final-day Emperor’s Cup showdown at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
The ozeki pair moved one win clear after top-ranked maegashira and overnight co-leader Miyabiyama went down to Tosanoumi and will face off on Sunday in the final bout of the 15-day meet at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Defending Nagoya champion Chiyotaikai gave Kaio a glimpse of what he can expect in the championship decider as he exploded out of his crouch to plow Tokitsuumi over the straw ridge with a series of vicious arm thrusts in Saturday’s finale.
Kaio, who is seeking his first title since the 2001 Nagoya basho, had a more difficult customer in the shape of ozeki Musoyama although he was equally impressive in notching a priceless 11th win.
After a prolonged midring stalemate, both attempted to slap each other down but it was Kaio that emerged victorious as he dodged an attack and twisted Musoyama (9-5) around before yanking him down to the dirt clay.
Kaio has won the last three meetings against Chiyotaikai and both wrestlers are aiming to claim their fourth overall title.
Former ozeki Miyabiyama kissed his share of the overnight lead goodbye as he got lost in a flurry of slaps and was dragged down by the neck by fifth-ranked Tosanoumi. Both wrestlers have 10-4 records.
In other bouts, ozeki Tochiazuma (7-7) looked to have done enough to secure a winning record only to take his foot off the pedal and allow seventh-ranked Hokutoriki (9-5) to storm back from the brink of defeat with a series of well-place shoves.
Sekiwake Wakanosato (9-5) saw his slim title hopes come to an end after he was tripped up by Mongolian No. 9 maegashira Asasekiryu, who improved to 9-5.
There was also disappointment for fellow sekiwake Kyokutenho as the Mongolian was dumped to his ninth loss on his debut at sumo’s third-highest rank by No. 5 maegashira Kotoryu (7-7).
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