Mongolian Asashoryu overpowered Iwakiyama on Thursday to move into a tie for the lead with Kotomitsuki on the fifth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
Fighting in the day’s final bout, grand champion Asashoryu deployed a textbook arm throw just after the face off to send No. 2 maegashira Iwakiyama tumbling to the dirt surface and improve to a perfect 5-0 on a day that three ozeki wrestlers lost their bouts at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Earlier, No. 4 maegashira Kotomitsuki maintained his share of the lead when he got both arms around Kinkaiyama and forced the ninth-ranked maegashira out to improve to 5-0. Kinkaiyama fell to 1-4.
Top-ranked maegashira Toki pulled out of the tournament earlier Thursday due to an injured shoulder.
Ozeki Tochiazuma, who is gunning for promotion to yokozuna, was to face Toki in Thursday’s bouts and picked up a win by forfeit to improve to 4-1.
Toki, who pulled off an upset win over ozeki Musoyama on Wednesday, left the 15-day tournament with a 1-4 record.
In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai became the third ozeki to lose when he was bulldozed out by sekiwake Tosanoumi shortly after the face.
Chiyotaikai, who dropped to 4-1, attempted to deploy his trademark arm thrusts but was no match for Tosanoumi, who improved to 2-3
Giant-killer Wakanosato, who defeated Tochiazuma on the opening day, notched his second big upset with a win over ozeki Kaio.
Komusubi Wakanosato improved to 3-2 when he forced Kaio to the edge and then shoved out the burly ozeki, who was handed his second straight defeat and dropped to 3-2.
Ozeki Musoyama was handed his second straight defeat when he was hauled down by top maegashira Hokutoriki, who picked up his first win of the tournament. Musoyama dropped to 3-2.
Mongolian Kyokushuzan, a No. 2 maegashira, reached into his bag of tricks when he sidestepped Tochinonada (2-3) at the face off and then swatted the komusubi wrestler down to remain one win off the pace at 4-1.
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