Kotooshu large and in charge

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu continued to leave a trail of destruction in his wake at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament as he bumped out Kyokushuzan on Sunday to remain the sole leader with a perfect 8-0 record.

Kotooshu appeared nervous at the face off but faced little resistance from Kyokushuzan (4-4) and with a firm grip on his belt, he quickly worked the Mongolian maegashira to the edge of the ring before ushering him over the straw bales at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kotooshu stayed one win clear of grand champion Asashoryu with a week of the 15-day tournament left to go but he sensibly played down his chances of becoming the first European to win the Emperor’s Cup.

“I’ve got a winning record now but it’s far from over yet. There is still another week to go,” said Kotooshu.

Asashoryu, who is chasing a record-tying sixth title in a row, got the fright of his life in his bout with Iwakiyama (4-4) but recovered to stay firmly in the hunt with a seventh win.

Asashoryu was put on the back foot as Iwakiyama came charging out of his crouch but the yokozuna got both arms around the fourth-ranked maegashira and slammed him to the surface with a neck throw.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for ozeki as Chiyotaikai (5-3) blew away Kotomitsuki (5-3) to ease relegation fears but Tochiazuma fell two wins off the pace after a shock defeat to sumo clown Takamisakari (3-5).

Tochiazuma (6-2) was made to pay for a momentary lapse in concentration and got spun around and floored with a beltless armthrow but Chiyotaikai was never in danger and took out Kotomitsuki with a flurry of trademark armthrusts.

Former sekiwake Hakuho took full advantage of Kokkai’s tactical naivety and slapped down the struggling maegashira for a fifth win.

Kokkai dropped to within one defeat of a losing record at 7-1. The wrestler from the former Soviet republic of Georgia got his only win of the meet by default over Wakanosato, who pulled out of the tournament with injury on Saturday.