Yokozuna Kakuryu and sekiwake Mitakeumi remained unbeaten at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
The tourney’s seventh day opened with four wrestlers atop the elite makuuchi division with perfect records. Mitakeumi earned a safe but uninspired victory to improve to 7-0, while Kakuryu handed No. 3 maegashira Tochinoshin his first loss in a bruising finale at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Tochinoshin delivered some furious blows to the yokozuna’s chest and face. Kakuryu, however, kept his eye on the prize, a right-handed underarm belt hold that he used to lever the Georgian out of the ring.
Mitakeumi survived an energetic assault that is a trademark of No. 2 maegashira Yoshikaze (3-4).
The sekiwake clinched victory by shoving Yoshikaze backward at ring’s edge and then pulling him down.
No. 16 maegashira Asanoyama, started the day unbeaten, but was shoved out by No. 13 Daiesho (6-1), who won his fifth straight bout.
Ozeki Takayasu (4-3) suffered his second straight defeat despite holding an opening advantage against Ichinojo (3-4). Takayasu grabbed an early belt hold with his right hand, but got greedy. In his bid to switch one hold for two, he came up empty-handed.
Instead, the mountainous Mongolian No. 1 maegashira locked onto the ozeki’s belt with his right hand and flung him down to defeat.
Fellow ozeki Goeido (5-2) bounced back from an embarrassing loss the day before to Yoshikaze. Goeido withstood a charge from up-and-coming komusubi Takakeisho (2-5), grabbed a belt hold in the process and used it to propel his opponent from the ring.
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