Sekiwake Mitakeumi was a man in a hurry on Monday, when he needed just 1.8 seconds to remain unbeaten after nine days of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
His win over No. 5 maegashira Daishomaru (3-6) left Mitakeumi one win ahead of his closest pursuer, No. 13 maegashira Asanoyama in the 15-day meet at Nagoya’s Dolphins Arena.
Mitakeumi charged head on as Daishomaru slipped to his left and hooked his right forearm behind the sekiwake’s neck. But Mitakeumi simply pivoted to his right and easily forced his off-balance opponent out of the ring.
Ozeki Takayasu remained two wins behind the leader by winning a bout he should have lost. Komusubi Tamawashi (5-4) forced the ozeki back, seized Takayasu’s left arm and was dragging him out of the ring.
But the ozeki escaped his opponent’s grasp and spun counterclockwise at the straw bales. Taken by surprise, Tamawashi lunged off-balance to shove Takayasu from the ring, but instead managed only to propel himself forward over the straw.
Goeido (6-3) matched his rival ozeki’s great escape with one of his own. No. 4 maegashira Kagayaki (3-6) broke an early stalemate by shoving the ozeki to the straw. When Goeido escaped, Kagayaki pursued him to the other side of the ring. He attempted to tip the ozeki over at the straw with a throw that Goeido survived as the two wrestlers balanced on one leg apiece. The ozeki, however, regained his footing first, got his left hand around on his opponent’s belt and executed a much easier overarm throw to earn the win.
No. 6 maegashira Endo suffered his second loss, getting beaten on the initial charge before eventually being shoved out by No. 9 Yutakayama (6-3). Endo, long a fan favorite, made his opponent wait before starting the bout but made no headway and found himself sliding backward to the straw bales.
Endo countered with a barrage of slaps to his opponent’s throat. Yutakayama, however, endured those blows, took a step back, lowered his head and bulldozed Endo out of the ring.
In addition to Takayasu and Endo, No. 13 maegashira Tochiozan is also two wins off the pace at 7-2.
In the day’s first makuuchi-division bout, the 165-kg Asanoyama improved to 4-0 in his career against 116-kg dynamo Ishiura, who was pushed out to his fifth defeat.
Asanoyama is now two wins from matching his best record in the top flight. His best result to date was his 10-5 mark last September in his makuuchi debut.