• Kyodo


Yokozuna Kisenosato and his junior Tagonoura stablemate, sekiwake Takayasu, secured their seventh wins on Saturday for a share of the lead in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Kisenosato faced up-and-coming komusubi Mitakeumi (3-4), who was the first to drive forward to get the newly promoted yokozuna against the straw bales.

But Kisenosato never lost his calm and killed his opponent’s momentum to immediately launch a counter, bulldozing Mitakeumi all the way to the other end of the ring and out to make it 4-0 in their head-to-head career record.

Takayasu, meanwhile, claimed his win in an emphatic manner against Sokokurai (2-5). A powerful initial charge had the No. 2 maegashira’s right foot off the ground and Takayasu barged him out of the ring in a flash to keep up the pace with Kisenosato at Edion Arena Osaka.

No. 10 maegashira Tochiozan was handed his first defeat by Okinoumi (5-2), coming out second best on the initial charge and unable to get on the front foot before the composed No. 8 rank-and-filer.

Ozeki Terunofuji (6-1) bounced back from his first defeat here a day earlier, the Mongolian firmly grabbing the belt of Takekaze (1-6) with both hands and hoisting the top-ranked maegashira out of the ring.

In the day’s final bout, yokozuna Harumafuji secured his fifth win in dominant manner after giving Shodai (3-4) slaps in the face and crushing him out of the ring, claiming his fifth straight win against the komusubi.

Kakuryu’s unconvincing display continued as the yokozuna failed to overpower his Mongolian compatriot Takanoiwa (2-5) and floundered on a pull-down attempt, but a timely slapdown of his own was enough to get back on a winning note with a fifth win.

After being demoted from ozeki, sekiwake Kotoshogiku (5-2) signaled that a swift return to the rank is likely by beating third-ranked maegashira Shohozan (1-6), showing his trademark grapple using his torso in the process.

Kotoshogiku, who dropped to sekiwake after two consecutive losing records, can reclaim the ozeki position with 10 wins at this tourney.

Sekiwake Tamawashi (5-2) pushed out local favorite and No. 1 maegashira Ikioi (1-6).

No. 7 maegashira Chiyoshoma and third-ranked Takarafuji started the tourney with five wins but have now succumbed to their second straight defeats, going down to fifth-ranked Endo (4-3) and Bulgarian No. 6 maegashira Aoiyama (4-3), respectively.

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