Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu gave Tokitsuumi a raw dose of speed and power as he remained unbeaten Wednesday while it was also victory for the entire ozeki camp on the fourth day at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
The 22-year-old grand champion backed up his third-ranked maegashira opponent with some heavy throat grabs and slaps but had a near catastrophe when Tokitsuumi tried a charge at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Too cool for school, Asashoryu quickly maneuvered to the side, knocking the referee clear out of the ring, before escaping the danger with a heads-up arm-lock throw to keep his record untainted at 4-0.
The yokozuna is seeking his fourth Emperor’s Cup but faces a tough challenge from the likes of ozeki Kaio who won the Nagoya meet in July and is now shooting for promotion to sumo’s ultimate rank.
Kaio, for his part, showed brilliant resolve after bumping heads with komusubi Tosanoumi while Chiyotaikai had to think quick to stay in a pack of five wrestlers with perfect records at the 15-day tournament.
Kaio, whose right arm is heavily taped due to an injury, pounded Tosanoumi (1-3) out of the crouch as both wrestlers shoved back and forth but bit the bullet and used his ailing hand to send the komusubi sailing over the ridge.
Chiyotaikai had a scare after a late start after the “tachiai” against a tricky Kyokutenho (1-3) but quickly regrouped, spinning around the Mongolian to apply a forceful twist down of the second-ranked grappler.
In the penultimate bout, Tochiazuma (3-1) hardly broke a sweat as he ran out Mongolian young blood Asasekiryu (2-2) with a barrage of hard thrusts for a convincing win.
Ozeki Musoyama finally saw some daylight at the end of the tunnel after using a series of thrusts and slaps to post his first win of the meet with a shove out of No. 2 maegashira Hokutoriki (1-3).
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