Goeido moved within reach of his first-ever championship as the ozeki remained unbeaten after 12 days at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament after defeating lackluster yokozuna Kakuryu on Thursday.
Yokozuna Harumafuji, sekiwake Takayasu and rank-and-file grappler Endo are two wins behind with three days to go in the 15-day tourney, while ozeki Kisenosato and No. 6 maegashira Tamawashi both have 9-3 records.
In the day’s final bout, Goeido, who began the meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan needing a winning record to avoid demotion, endured shoves and slaps from Kakuryu (8-4) and finally pushed the Mongolian off the edge.
Goeido notched his 12th win over Kakuryu in their 36th career meeting.
Harumafuji (10-2), seeking back-to-back titles after winning the Nagoya tourney in July, got a firm left-hand grip on Kotoshogiku’s mawashi and made a full turn in the middle of the dohyo before swinging the ozeki off the raised ring with a shitatenage underarm throw.
The Mongolian yokozuna picked up his 10th win, while Kotoshogiku (7-5), who needs another win to keep his rank, fell to his third straight loss.
In earlier bouts, Endo (10-2) maintained poise as the 14th-ranked maegashira edged out No. 5 maegashira Mitakeumi (8-4), while Takayasu (10-2) forcefully pushed out top maegashira Yoshikaze (4-8).
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