Saucy Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu made mincemeat of Hokutoriki to take sole possession of the lead on the sixth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
The 22-year-old bruiser from Ulan Bator is the only wrestler with a 6-0 record after overnight co-leader Tamanoshima was blasted out by makuuchi division debutant Kakizoe in an earlier bout in the 15-day meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Elsewhere, yokozuna hopeful Kaio bounced back from defeat by tipping over Tokitsuumi but fellow ozeki Chiyotakiai’s title hopes were dented after he was handed his second straight defeat at the hands of komusubi Tosanoumi. Four wrestlers including Kaio are one win off the pace at 5-1.
After weathering an early assault in the day’s final bout, Asashoryu took charge and finished off Hokutoriki (2-4) in style as he lifted the No. 2 maegashira into the air with a two-handed belt grip and slam-dunked him on to the clay surface.
Nagoya champion Kaio got back on the winning track as he neutralized Tokitsuumi’s charge and, after shrugging off an attempted leg trip, sent the third-ranked maegashira out from behind to a fourth loss.
After losing to top-ranked maegashira Takamisakari on Thursday, Kaio must win all of his remaining bouts if he is to be considered for promotion to sumo’s highest rank of grand champion.
“Robocop” impersonator Takamisakari (4-2) claimed his second major scalp of the tournament and halted “kadoban” ozeki Tochiazuma’s three-bout winning streak with a deserved force-out victory.
It was Takamisakari’s first win in seven bouts against Tochiazuma (4-2), who needs at least four more wins to preserve his ozeki rank.
Chiyotaikai (4-2) suffered from a momentary lapse of concentration as Tosanoumi sidestepped the ozeki at the charge and twisted him down to the clay surface for his second win of the tournament.
Musoyama pulls out
Ozeki Musoyama has pulled out of the ongoing Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament after fracturing his left elbow in a bout on Thursday, his stablemaster Musashigawa said Friday.
Musoyama sustained the injury in a defeat to Mongolian maegashira Kyokutenho — his fourth of the 15-day meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan — and will need around two months to fully recover.
“We went to the hospital this morning and the doctors told us there was no way he could use his elbow. All we can do is sit tight and wait for it to get better,” Musashigawa said.
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