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Terunofuji holds off Ikioi to stay unbeaten

Kyodo

Terunofuji rolled to his second win as ozeki with victory over third-ranked maegashira Ikioi at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Terunofuji, the Emperor’s Cup holder, followed up his opening-day win against Aoiyama by ushering Ikioi (0-2) out of the ring to keep out of the loss column.

Terunofuji is the first wrestler in 64 years to be promoted to ozeki after spending two tournaments at komusubi or sekiwake. The Mongolian will face komusubi Myogiryu (1-1) on Tuesday as he eyes becoming the ninth ozeki to win the championship in his debut at sumo’s second-highest rank.

Also Monday, Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji withdrew from the tournament with a right elbow injury.

The 31-year-old told the Japan Sumo Association he has damaged a collateral ligament and that he will require around a month to recover.

Harumafuji last withdrew from a tournament at the 2014 Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament and has now pulled out of five in total.

The remaining two yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu, got the job done for the second day in a row with wins over Takayasu (1-1) and Sadanoumi (1-1), respectively.

While Kakuryu made quick work of his opponent who he met for the first time, Hakuho labored through his bout, needing more than a minute to dismiss Takayasu by okuridashi.

Ozeki Kotoshogiku fell to 0-2 after being slapped down by Myogiryu.