FUKUOKA – Top-ranked maegashira Tochiozan condemned yokozuna Harumafuji to his second upset defeat in as many days at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.
Looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat to Takayasu, Harumafuji quickly lost his way after a promising start at the charge and was sent sprawling to the dirt by Tochiozan (1-3), falling two wins behind unbeaten fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu.
Hakuho (4-0), tied with Chiyonofuji for second on the all-time list with 31 titles and seeking a fourth consecutive championship, yanked down Takarafuji (2-2) by the back of the neck for a comfortable win to wrap up the day’s action.
Kakuryu marched out Toyohibiki (1-3) in the preceding bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
In other bouts in the upper ranks, Kisenosato was given a run for his money after shrugging off a couple of early blows from No. 3 Terunofuji (2-2), but the ozeki dug in deep and his perseverance paid off in a fourth straight win.
Kotoshogiku (2-2), however, was unable to win in front of his hometown fans, komusubi Ikioi using brute force to muscle the ozeki over the edge and claim his first victory of the tournament.
“I didn’t do anything differently. I just gave it my all,” said Ikioi. “Today I had good focus at the tachiai and gained momentum. It was good I kept on attacking.”
Newly promoted sekiwake Ichinojo, who posted an outstanding 13-2 showing on his top-flight debut in September, dropped two wins off the pace after defeat to ozeki Goideo.
The 21-year-old Ichinojo, who weighs in at 199 kg, tried to pull Goeido down by the back of the neck but the ozeki surged forward, bumping his Mongolian opponent over the ridge.
Goeido, who just about managed to squeak out an 8-7 mark on his ozeki debut at the Autumn meet, is also 2-2.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5