Yokozuna Hakuho stayed undefeated to remain in a tie for the lead with rank-and-file wrestler Onosho at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
The sole competing yokozuna following the retirement of Kisenosato and injury withdrawal of Kakuryu, Hakuho continued his quest for an unprecedented 42nd top-division title by beating No. 3 maegashira Shodai (2-4) on Day 6 of the 15-day tournament.
“I can’t let up,” said Hakuho, who finished the day in a two-way tie with No. 6 maegashira Onosho.
After a number of close calls at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho had arguably his easiest win of the tournament so far against Shodai, who had won only one of their seven previous meetings.
With the Shodai looking for an outside grip, Hakuho grabbed his belt with both hands on the inside, staying low and quickly getting the win by frontal force-out.
Kakuryu (2-4) earlier in the day pulled out of the tournament because of right ankle pain. He forfeited his scheduled bout against No. 2 Hokutofuji (4-2).
Ozeki Takayasu (3-3) bounced back from his Day 5 loss with a routine frontal force-out win over No. 2 Nishikigi (4-2), who fell to a second straight defeat after an impressive 4-0 start against higher-ranked wrestlers.
Takayasu got the upper hand at the jump by taking Nishikigi’s belt with a left outside grip. The maegashira tried to counter with an arm-lock throw but had no room to maneuver, allowing Takayasu to easily shove him out.
Ozeki Goeido (2-4) achieved back-to-back wins by dispatching No. 3 Shohozan (2-4).
Sekiwake Takakeisho, winner of the November tournament, dropped to 4-2 with a loss to No. 1 Tochiozan (2-4).
Komusubi Mitakeumi (5-1) took his first loss at the hands of Myogiryu, apparently suffering a left leg injury in the process.
Myogiryu (2-4) opened with a hard charge, quickly forcing Mitakeumi out backward. When he hopped down from the raised ring, Mitakeumi crumpled to the floor, and he was wheelchaired out.
The sekiwake was examined at a Tokyo hospital and left on crutches.
“I’m OK,” the sekiwake said wearing an unconvincing expression “I’ll be able to go tomorrow. It’s something like muscle fatigue.”
No. 6 Onosho stayed perfect by pushing out No. 4 Okinoumi (3-3). He has yet to face an opponent from above the rank-and-file and is scheduled to meet Brazilian No. 8 Kaisei on Day 7.
Kaisei (5-1) relinquished his share of the lead on the sixth day after incurring his first loss of the tournament to No. 11 Sadanoumi (3-3).