A trio of Mongolian wrestlers remained seated at the summit of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament with 6-0 records on Friday, the sixth day of the event at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Chasing a 31st career tournament title that would leave him one behind the all-time record set by legendary yokozuna Taiho, Hakuho and fellow yokozuna Kakuryu joined compatriot newcomer Ichinojo in the tournament lead. Three wrestlers, including ozeki Kisenosato, are still in the hunt with 5-1 records.
Hakuho survived an energetic but doomed challenge from No. 3 maegashira Yoshikaze, whom the yokozuna forced out to his second defeat.
Kakuryu took control of his match against No. 4 maegashira Takarafuji (3-3) on the tachiai and though he failed to slap him down straight away, the yokozuna kept up the pressure and knocked his opponent off balance.
In the ozeki ranks, Kisenosato won a drawn out but fairly dull encounter with Endo (0-6).
The top-ranked maegashira twisted out of a few tricky situations, but Kisenosato bided his time and defeated his popular opponent with a pulling overarm throw.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku (3-3), however, was unable to follow in Kisenosato’s footsteps as he was slapped down on the tachiai by sekiwake Takekaze, who improved to 4-2.
“The ozeki came in low on the tachiai and my body just reacted,” said Takekaze.
Newly promoted ozeki Goeido (4-2) wasted little time bowling top-ranked maegashira Terunofuji out to a fifth defeat, overpowering him on the initial charge and finishing him with an outside leg trip.
Ichinojo continued his impressive start to life in the elite makuuchi division, breaking up a stalemate and forcing out compatriot Kyokushuho (3-3) to preserve his share of the lead.
In the day’s opening bout in the top flight, 40-year-old Mongolian maegashira Kyokutenho rebounded from his first defeat, countering an attempted leg trip from 16th-ranked Tokitenku (2-4) and squashing him after both crashed off the ring.
Okinoumi, a 14th-ranked maegashira, also secured his fifth win with a frontal forceout of Sokokurai, who fell to 3-3.