Bulgarian Kotooshu brushed aside Hokutoriki on Thursday to move a step closer to his first Emperor’s Cup heading into the final three days of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photoSekiwake Kotooshu unleashes an upper-arm throw against No. 7 maegashira Hokutoriki on Thursday at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

Kotooshu, who is making his sekiwake debut, wasted little time when he got a grip of Hokutoriki’s belt at the center of the ring and threw the No. 7 maegashira down to improve to a perfect 12-0. Hokutoriki dropped to 7-5.

In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu bounced back from an upset defeat on Wednesday and dispatched No. 6 maegashira Kotoshogiku with an arm throw to improve to 10-2. Kotoshogiku fell to 7-5.

Kotooshu will face Asashoryu on Friday with a chance to eliminate Asashoryu. Lower-ranked grappler Kisenosato would still be in the running with a win over Kyokutenho on Friday.

Mongolian Kyokutenho, a third-ranked maegashira, used a textbook arm throw to send compatriot Hakuho sprawling to the dirt surface.

Kyokutenho improved to 8-4 while top maegashira Hakuho fell to 7-5.

In an earlier bout, Kisenosato, a No. 16 maegashira, fought off an arm throw by Roho at the edge of the ring and shoved the tenth-ranked maegashira out to stay in the hunt while improving to 10-2. Russian grappler Roho fell to 7-5.

Chiyotaikai, who has already wrapped up the winning record he needs to maintain his ozeki status, used a barrage of arm thrusts to send fellow ozeki Tochiazuma over the edge.

Chiyotaikai improved to 9-3 while Tochiazuma dropped to 8-4.

Elsewhere, No. 2 maegashira Kakizoe came charging out of the blocks and shoved komusubi Kotomitsuki out in a matter of seconds to improve to 4-8. Kotomitsuki, who was slow on the faceoff, fell to 7-5.

No. 5 maegashira Aminishiki came back down to earth after upsetting Asashoryu on Wednesday when he was shoved out by ninth-ranked Takekaze. Both wrestlers stand at 6-6.

No. 2 maegashira Kokkai of Georgia continues to struggle and was muscled out by Dejima to fall to an unflattering record of 2-10. Dejima, a No. 3 maegashira, improved to 4-8.

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