Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu took a major stride toward his fourth Emperor’s Cup as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Miyabiyama at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old bruiser from Ulan Bator (11-0) maintained his unbeaten record with four days of the 15-day meet left and stayed two wins clear of nearest challenger ozeki Chiyotaikai, who also dodged a bullet to shunt out Asashoryu’s compatriot Asasekiryu.

Meanwhile, there was more misery for Kaio as the ozeki who came into the 15-day meet aiming for promotion to yokozuna for the umpteenth time slumped to a fourth straight defeat at the hands of sekiwake Wakanosato.

In an explosive finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan, sekiwake Miyabiyama came charging out of his blocks like a raging bull and looked set for a shock win as he quickly drove Asashoryu up against the straw ridge.

But the grand champion, who has been in blistering form here, dug deep into his energy reserves and launched a fierce counter attack before shunting Miyabiyama (3-8) out of the ring.

Asasekiryu (5-6) missed out on a chance to pull off a giant-killing act in an earlier bout when he lost his grip on the back of Chiyotaikai’s neck and allowed the ozeki to storm back and barge him out.

Elsewhere, “kadoban” ozeki Tochiazuma recorded the eighth win needed to stay at sumo’s second-highest rank while one-time ozeki candidate Kotomitsuki also secured a winning record.

Tochiazuma blasted out third-ranked maegashira grappler Tokitsuumi (4-7) and Kotomitsuki forced out top-ranked maegashira Tochinonada (5-6) but sumo’s “Robocop” Takamisakari and Tamanoshima slipped further behind the leader after suffering fourth defeats to komusubi Tosanoumi (5-6) and Kyokutenho (7-4), respectively.

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