Sekiwake Tochiozan upset the form chart by dealing rampant ozeki Terunofuji his first defeat at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.
Tochiozan, who entered the day having lost all five of his career matches to the larger 23-year-old Mongolian, was put on the defensive from the get-go but managed to keep Terunofuji off his belt. When the ozeki shifted his weight for another attempt at a belt hold, Tochiozan (7-5) struck, spinning his opponent around and forcing him out.
The defeat at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan kept Terunofuji from expanding his lead after his closest pursuer, maegashira Ikioi, suffered his second loss.
Yokozuna Kakuryu joined Ikioi at 10-2 when he defeated Kotoshogiku (8-4) in the day’s finale to improve to 19-18 in their 37 career matches. After an earth-shaking collision, the two sparred furiously at mid-ring before the yokozuna scored a breakthrough belt hold that allowed him to hurl Kotoshogiku to the sandy surface with an uwatenage overarm throw.
Ikioi lost to smaller and more maneuverable No. 1 maegashira Yoshikaze. Although Ikioi was able to stand his opponent up at the tachiai, Yoshikaze attacked aggressively. When Ikioi lost his balance for an instant, Yoshikaze was on him in a flash to force him out and even their head-to-head record at 4-4.
“It went by so fast, I barely remember what happened,” said Yoshikaze who clinched a winning record here with his eighth victory. “This is my best day so far, to beat a man ahead of me in the standings for my eighth win.”
Ozeki Kisenosato (9-3) quickly put away Myogiryu, despite the sekiwake opening the match with an audacious hand to his throat.
Kisenosato slapped away the offending hand, throwing his opponent slightly off balance and quickly rushed in to shove the sekiwake from the ring to his sixth defeat.
Struggling ozeki Goeido evened his record at 6-6 with a textbook force out of No. 4 maegashira Takarafuji (4-8). Goeido absorbed his larger opponent’s charge, steered him toward the straw bales and levered him out.
Resurgent Georgian komusubi Tochinoshin (7-5) scored his fifth consecutive win after three straight defeats by forcing out No. 5 maegashira Tamawashi (3-9).
Hobbling Egyptian Osunaarashi (7-5) got the better of rotund No. 8 maegashira Toyonoshima, who suffered just his third defeat — losing his footing when he had his second-ranked opponent backed up against the straw bales.
Brazilian-born No. 5 maegashira Kaisei made short work of No. 11 Chiyotairyu (4-8) to earn his fifth win and stay in the hunt for a winning record in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Russian No. 7 maegashira Amuru (7-5) was denied a majority of wins when No. 10 Kyokushuho (7-5) knocked him off balance with a downward slap to the head before shoving him out.
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