Yokozuna Asashoryu manhandled maegashira Kotomitsuki to extend his winning streak to 10 at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, maintaining a two-win cushion between him and his main rival, ozeki Chiyotaikai.
With just five days left in the tourney, Asashoryu (10-0), who is chasing his fourth title overall, was the only wrestler without a loss. Chiyotaikai trailed him at 8-2, while five others, including ozeki Tochiazuma, had three losses.
In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu was thrown back by the force of Kotomitsuki’s charge at the face-off. But Asashoryu quickly regained his composure, grabbed the No. 6 maegashira by the belt and carried him out of the ring. Kotomitsuki fell to 7-3.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai leaped at Takanonami (3-7) with a flurry of arm thrusts, against which the No. 4 maegashira was helpless to defend himself.
The ranks of wrestlers still in contention thinned further. Ozeki Kaio and Tochiazuma were the day’s biggest casualties.
Tochiazuma (7-3) couldn’t stave off sekiwake Wakanosato (6-4), whose longer reach came in handy when the two got tangled in a belt-grab. Tochiazuma needs eight wins to keep his rank.
Kaio (6-4), touted as a possible candidate for sumo’s top rank, tried to strong-arm No. 4 maegashira Asasekiryu (5-5), but he was knocked out when his toss failed.
Top-ranking maegashira Takamisakari (7-3), a crowd favorite, eliminated Mongolian-born No. 2 maegashira Kyokutenho (6-4) from the leaders’ pack. Pushed to the ring’s edge, Takamisakari deposited Kyokutenho over the straw with a last-second spin-and-lift move.
No. 9 maegashira Aminishiki (7-3) calmly dispatched No. 14 maegashira Wakanoyama (4-6).
No. 7 maegashira Tamanoshima (7-3) survived a close call, tiptoeing along the ring’s edge as he yanked Wakatoba (6-4) off his feet. An airborne Wakatoba’s hand touched ground a split-second before Tamanoshima’s momentum carried him backward out of the ring.
Along with Wakatoba, No. 13 maegashira Yotsukasa and Kakizoe, a No. 11 maegashira and a rookie in the top makuuchi division, were knocked out of contention after posting a fourth loss.
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