FUKUOKA – Takakeisho recorded his 10th win at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday to remain in sole possession of the lead.
The 22-year-old komusubi switched gears in a fight against No. 2 maegashira Tochiozan to earn his 101st top division victory. Ozeki Takayasu, along with maegashira Daieisho and Aoiyama, remains one win behind the leader at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
After Tochiozan (6-5) repelled several of the komusubi’s shoves, Takakeisho changed his strategy and slipped to the side of his opponent. With Tochiozan off guard, Takakeisho easily slapped him down to the clay.
Takakeisho is seeking his first makuuchi championship and trying to become the first komusubi since Kaio in 2000 to win a top-division title. On Thursday he faces No. 2 Tamawashi, against whom he holds a 4-2 record.
In the final bout on Day 11, Takayasu (9-2) stayed in the race by narrowly defeating sekiwake Ichinojo (3-8). The pair went into the bout with a 5-4 record in favor of the ozeki.
Takayasu tried pushing out and then pulling down the 227-kg Mongolian, but was instead forced to the edge by an unstoppable charge. With the contest in the balance, Takayasu teetered on the straw as Ichinojo’s momentum forced him to step out of the ring first.
Goeido (8-3) survived a scare against Kaisei (3-6-2) and secured a winning record. The Brazilian komusubi initially resisted Goeido’s attempt to throw him out, but took a fall while in pursuit of the ozeki.
Tochinoshin (6-5) got a much-needed win against No. 5 maegashira Chiyotairyu (5-6). The Georgian put up a wall against his opponent’s relentless attack, and Chiyotairyu collapsed on his knee when he ran out of gas.
Mitakeumi (5-6) suffered his third straight loss and now has a losing record. The sekiwake, who had been gunning for an ozeki promotion after earning his first top division title, lost his balance trying to fend off an attack from No. 4 Yoshikaze (6-5).
Among the rank-and-filers, No. 9 Daieisho and No. 12 Aoiyama both remain in contention after improving to 9-2. Aoiyama slapped down No. 10 Yutakayama (4-7) to claim his ninth straight win, while Daieisho pushed out No. 6 Kagayaki (3-8).
No. 13 Onosho (8-3) was defeated by home favorite No. 7 Shohozan (7-4) and fell further off the pace. No. 11 Okinoumi (8-3) secured a winning record by beating No. 14 Chiyoshoma (5-6).
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