NAGOYA - Yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu maintained their share of the lead by staying unbeaten Wednesday at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
The two Mongolians improved to 4-0 with victories over komusubi opponents on the fourth day of the 15-day tournament at Dolphins Arena.
In the closing bout, all-time championship record-holder Hakuho won his first career meeting with newly promoted Ryuden (2-2).
The yokozuna immediately put his opponent in a defensive position, taking a right-hand outside grip that he used to maneuver the komusubi to the edge of the ring before forcing him out.
Kakuryu was able to conserve his energy with a relatively easy thrust-out victory over Abi (1-3).
Abi tried to capitalize on his longer reach with a thrusting attack, but he was unable to budge the yokozuna, who set his feet before quickly driving the younger wrestler back over the straw.
Takayasu was the only ozeki winner on Day 4, improving to 3-1 with an impressive victory over No. 1 maegashira Asanoyama (1-3).
In one of the day’s most entertaining bouts, Takayasu countered an attempted force out before toppling the Summer Grand Tournament winner with a perfectly executed underarm throw.
Ozeki Goeido dropped to 2-2 after getting slapped down by No. 1 Hokutofuji. Following two false starts, Hokutofuji hit Goeido hard at the jump, denying him a belt grip.
Pushed to the edge, Goeido managed to fight his way back, but Hokutofuji pulled him off balance before knocking him to the clay.
“I attempted a pull down, but that was a bad move. I should have just continued to attack,” said Hokutofuji, who lost to Hakuho on Day 3.
“I wasn’t upset with my performance yesterday. (Today) things worked out well.”
Ozeki Tochinoshin remained winless following a push-out loss to No. 3 Daieisho (2-2). The big Georgian, who regained ozeki status following his 10 wins in the previous grand tournament, met Daeisho in a hard opening clash, but the maegashira yanked him off balance before pushing him out.
“I just wanted to go all out and get off to a fast start,” Daieisho said. “I just want to maintain my concentration and take (the tournament) one match at a time.”
Sekiwake Mitakeumi improved to 3-1 by quickly pushing out No.3 Shodai (2-2).
The champion here last year, Mitakeumi was the aggressor from the outset, shoving and ramming Shodai over the edge. The win gave him an 8-7 record in their career head-to-head clashes.
Sekiwake Tamawashi (0-4) continued his forgettable start with a loss to No. 2 Endo (2-2).
The Mongolian, promoted following a 10-5 record in May, had the early upper hand before succumbing to a frontal force out.
Among lower-ranked wrestlers, No. 16 Terutsuyoshi stayed unbeaten after handing popular up-and-comer Enho (3-1) his first loss. No. 7 Tomokaze remained perfect, while No. 10 Kotoshogiku and No. 10 maegashira Takagenji, a makuuchi-division debutant, suffered their first defeats.