Fiery grand champion Asashoryu exacted swift revenge on Takamisakari on Tuesday to maintain his blemish-free record on the third day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
The saucy 22-year-old from Ulan Bator, who suffered a shock defeat to the colorful top-ranked maegashira at the last meet in Nagoya, never looked in danger of becoming the victim of another upset as he sorted out his opponent with minimum fuss at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Elsewhere, ozeki Chiyotaikai and yokozuna wannabe Kaio also produced convincing wins to maintain their share of the early lead at 3-0, while Tochiazuma got back on the winning track to ease his demotion worries.
Bumbling Musoyama, however, was unable to make it a perfect day for the ozeki camp as he ran around in circles and out of the dohyo for his third straight loss in the 15-day meet.
Takamisakari, reportedly reduced to tears by Asashoryu for not giving 100 percent at a recent practice session, looked hesitant at the face off and the Mongolian brawler wasted no time in taking full advantage.
Asashoryu, who is seeking his fourth Emperor’s Cup, arrested sumo’s “Robocop” at the charge and sent him backpedaling out of the ring with a series of well-placed shoves.
For Chiyotaikai, it was business as usual, as the ozeki exploded out of his crouch and showed no mercy by pummeling top-ranked maegashira Tochinonada out of the dohyo with a flurry of slaps and trademark arm thrusts.
Kaio was equally impressive in the following bout against Hokutoriki (1-2).
Perennial bridesmaid Kaio calmly weathered a pair of strong neck thrusts at the charge and showed neat footwork before slapping down the second-ranked maegashira.
The 31-year-old Tomozuna stable wrestler needs to meet the Japan Sumo Association’s minimum requirement of 14 wins here to be considered for promotion to sumo’s highest rank of yokozuna.
Tochiazuma (2-1) bounced back from Monday’s loss to Hokutoriki in style as he followed up a series of head butts by tearing down komusubi Tosanoumi (1-2).
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