Ozeki Asanoyama suffered a second straight defeat at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, falling against top-ranked maegashira Takanosho to remain winless after two days.
The absence of yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu, both out of the 15-day meet with injuries, has given the up-and-coming ozeki a big chance to claim his second championship, but the 26-year-old was dealt a huge blow by a rank-and-filer on Day 2.
Asanoyama failed to gain traction in his initial clash with Takanosho (1-1) in the penultimate bout of the day at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, and was quickly driven back to his side of the straw.
The ozeki attempted a last-ditch armlock throw at the edge of the raised ring but fell flat as he was forced out by some determined shoving from his opponent.
“I’m super happy, I just concentrated on wrestling my way and it was good that I could drive forward,” Takanosho said after claiming his first win against an ozeki, the sport’s second-highest rank.
“I was calm this time, I could read his movement well. I tried not to let him get an underarm grip on my belt with his right hand.”
Ozeki Takakeisho, meanwhile, continued his perfect start to the tournament by securing his second straight victory.
After easing past July champion Terunofuji on Day 1, the ozeki swiftly overpowered Okinoumi (0-2) while denying the komusubi any room for a counterattack.
The trio fighting at sekiwake all triumphed in their Day 2 bouts, with Daieisho (1-1) seizing his first win at the rank by edging out No. 2 Hokutofuji (0-2).
The pair traded shoves in a fierce encounter as Daieisho found himself on the ropes, but the sekiwake recovered and executed a timely downward thrust.
Shodai (2-0) overcame a solid effort from No. 2 Tamawashi (1-1) by managing to withstand a low charge from the Mongolian veteran before bulldozing his opponent over the straw.
Mitakeumi (2-0) had little trouble dispatching No. 1 Terunofuji (0-2). After a false start, Mitakeumi swiftly pulled away to leave Terunofuji stumbling before pushing him out from behind.
Endo (1-1), who defeated Asanoyama on Day 1, failed to keep up his momentum and was pushed down by No. 3 Myogiryu (2-0).
No. 16 Hoshoryu, a nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu, suffered his first defeat in the elite makuuchi division upon getting blasted out by No. 15 Shimanoumi (1-1).
Another top-division newcomer, No. 14 Tobizaru, remained spotless after slapping down No. 15 Shohozan (0-2).