NAGOYA – A pair of yokozuna were culled from the leading group on Tuesday, the third day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Losses by Kakuryu and fellow Mongolian Harumafuji, left their compatriot Hakuho as the only yokozuna to survive the first three days with a perfect record in the 15-day event at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Top-ranked maegashira Tochiozan (2-1) claimed the first yokozuna scalp, absorbing Kakuryu’s charge before counterattacking and driving him out.
Kakuryu got off the mark quickly but came up empty in a quick lunge for a belt hold. When he twisted to try again, Tochiozan charged and seized control, improving to 20-21 in his career against the Mongolian.
Their match had to be restarted after a false start by Tochiozan.
“After that, I was able to stay loose,” he said. “I wanted to take the attack to him earlier, but overall it was a good result.”
Hakuho powered to his 32nd consecutive victory, easily turning top-ranked maegashira Mitakeumi (0-3) around on the tachiai and steering him out of the ring.
In the day’s final bout, No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi (1-2) shifted to his left when he received Harumafuji’s charge, and the yokozuna stumbled as he tried to adjust, never recovering his balance.
Promotion-chasing ozeki Kisenosato won a routine bout against Takarafuji (2-1), bundling up the No. 2 maegashira’s arms on the tachiai as a prelude to a belt hold and an easy force-out. The loss dropped Takarafuji to 1-12 in his career against Kisenosato.
Terunofuji, who took a beating in May due to knee injuries and who barely survived to win on Monday, showed good balance and power in a clinical force-out of komusubi Kotoyuki (0-3). Terunofuji needs five more wins here to remain an ozeki for September.
Kotoshogiku’s nightmare start continued in a rapid-fire exit against previously winless No. 3 Myogiryu. The ozeki was a split-second slow on the tachiai, let his man get in low and was quickly driven from the ring.
Myogiryu, who let Terunofuji off the hook before suffering a stunning reversal, gave Kotoshogiku (0-3) no time to fight back.
Komusubi Takayasu (2-1), who won the day before when Kotoshogiku inexplicably lost his footing and fell sprawling, improved to 12-6 in his career against ozeki Goeido (1-2).
The komusubi got the better of the tachiai, getting a left-handed hold on the ozeki’s belt. When Goeido attempted a half-baked throw, Takayasu pounced and clinched the win with a pulling overarm toss.