OSAKA – Yokozuna Kakuryu survived a scare Thursday to remain undefeated on the fifth day of the 15-day Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.
Pushed to the edge of the straw bales by No. 2 Takarafuji, the sole yokozuna at Edion Arena Osaka failed to keep both feet inside while pulling down his charging opponent.
Unable to determine whether Kakuryu’s foot left the ring before Takarafuji’s shoulder hit the ground, the judges ordered a rematch.
The Mongolian made no mistake the second time around, using his strength to quickly drive the winless Takarafuji out.
The victory in the final bout of the evening left Kakuryu as one of three wrestlers with a perfect record after the fifth day of the tournament, along with No. 4 Shohozan and No. 6 Kaisei.
Forced to the edge of the ring in his bout with No. 5 Chiyomaru, Brazilian-born Kaisei used his 205-kg frame to hold off his opponent before lifting him out by the belt.
Facing Arawashi, Shohozan kept his feet following an attempted throw before using his taller opponent’s momentum to force the No. 2 maegashira out.
Following a disappointing 0-2 start, ozeki Takayasu secured his third straight victory by throwing down No. 3 Kotoshogiku (1-4).
After being pushed onto the back foot, Takayasu demonstrated impressive strength and technique to hold off the former sekiwake before tossing him to the ground.
Ozeki Goeido (3-2) overwhelmed No. 3 Takakeisho (2-3), quickly pushing him out backwards for the Osaka native’s third win at his home venue.
Komusubi Ichinojo beat No. 1 Endo (3-2) to move to 4-1. After the opening tussle, the pair stayed locked motionless for several seconds before the giant Mongolian used his 61-kg weight advantage to bulldoze the lower-ranked wrestler out of the ring.
Sekiwake Tochinoshin (3-2) picked up a much-needed win against komusubi Chiyotairyu (1-4) after suffering his second loss the previous day. The New Year tourney winner, who came into the Osaka meet carrying a foot injury, agilely maneuvered behind his charging opponent and quickly forced him out.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (4-1) stayed in the hunt by beating Mongolian top-ranked maegashira Tamawashi (2-3). The pair traded pushes and slaps after Mitakeumi attempting a throw in the opening exchange, with the Japanese-born wrestler getting the victory by push out.
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