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Kakuryu suffers first defeat of New Year Basho, falls into tie for lead

Kyodo

Yokozuna Kakuryu suffered his first loss and landed in a two-way tie for the lead on Wednesday, the 11th day of the 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Kakuryu started the bout against sekiwake Tamawashi in strong shape, putting up a solid defense against the the Mongolian’s dogged pushes and slaps.

The yokozuna, however, was forced to the edge of the ring when he tried to pull Tamawashi down, and was instead pushed out in the biggest upset at Ryogoku Kokugikan so far.

Tamawashi improved his record to 4-7 after defeating Kakuryu, the sole-remaining yokozuna at the tourney following the withdrawal of Hakuho and Kisenosato due to injuries.

Earlier, No. 3 maegashira Tochinoshin (10-1) survived a scare and is tied for the lead after beating No. 6 Takarafuji (7-4) in a bout that had the referees come into the ring for deliberation.

The 177-kg Georgian, who suffered his only defeat on Day 7 against Kakuryu, went push-for-shove with the No. 6 for twenty long seconds before being driven to the perimeter. As Takarafuji wrapped his arms around the Georgian and tried for a finishing shove, Tochinoshin pulled the wrestler down while leaping out of the ring to avoid defeat.

In another close match, ozeki Goeido (6-5) was defeated by No. 4 Arawashi (6-5) when the Mongolian pulled him down as he fell from the ring.

Takayasu improved to 8-3 with quick victory over No. 5 Okinoumi (3-8). The ozeki pushed his opponent out within seconds and landed in a tie for third.

Sekiwake Mitakeumi (7-4) suffered his fourth straight loss when he was quickly dispatched by No. 4 Shodai (6-5). The sekiwake failed to gain traction against Shodai, as the No. 4 charged him relentlessly from the ring.

Takakeisho (4-7) survived a fury of slaps in a bloody bout with No. 2 Yoshikaze (4-7), which finally ended in the komusubi pushing him out.

No. 13 Daieisho, who started the day as the only wrestler in third, fell to 8-3 when he was forced out by No. 16 Ryuden (7-4).