Harumafuji’s plea for a timeout went unanswered at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
As a result, top-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku beat him in the most unexpected fashion.
Harumafuji (2-1), the only yokozuna competing in the tournament, never put up a fight on the third day of the meet in an unusual contest that saw Kotoshogiku virtually gifted the win.
The two locked horns from the tachiai as normal, but Harumafuji immediately tried to restart the bout by calling for time, repeatedly slapping Kotoshogiku on the back.
The chief judge, however, saw a clean and fair start, letting the fight continue. Kotoshogiku kept pushing, plowing Harumafuji out of the ring.
The ringside judges also saw no irregularities with the way the match unfolded as Kotoshogiku was declared the winner. The former ozeki is joined by five others at a perfect 3-0.
“I managed to keep my concentration,” said Kotoshogiku, who earned his first career kimboshi — a win over a yokozuna by a rank-and-file wrestler. “Not bad, not bad.”
Japan Sumo Association chairman Hakkaku criticized the yokozuna for letting up.
“It didn’t seem like he was losing, but he’s got to just get over it and move on,” Hakkaku said.
Harumafuji will try to bounce back on Wednesday against No. 2 maegashira Hokutofuji (2-1), who won by default after ozeki Takayasu pulled out of the tournament due to injury. Popular maegashira Ura also withdrew on Tuesday.
The two remaining ozeki, Terunofuji (1-2) and Goeido (2-1), both won, the former picking up his first victory of the basho off No. 1 Tochinoshin (0-3).