The championship race at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament blew wide open on Wednesday as sekiwake Shodai and three rank-and-filers fell to their first loss.
Shodai (3-1) had been the last grappler in the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna to remain undefeated at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, but had his perfect run ended by top-ranked maegashira Terunofuji.
Terunofuji (2-2) took control from the onset of their Day 4 bout and overwhelmed the sekiwake with a relentless thrusting attack before shoving him out. Shodai had entered the fight with a two-bout advantage over 10 meetings with the July Basho champion.
Only two of the six men tied for the overnight lead managed to hold onto their spot in the leading pack, leaving the Emperor’s Cup up for grabs in the absence of yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu, both sidelined with injuries.
No. 14 Tobizaru (4-0) kept the perfect start to his top-division career alive by turning the tables on No. 12 Kaisei (1-3). After failing to make headway against the Brazilian heavyweight, the makuuchi newcomer circled around and pushed Kaisei out from behind.
Onosho collected his fourth straight win by forcing out fellow No. 9 Enho (0-4).
In other bouts, ozeki Takakeisho (3-1) bounced back from his first loss with a win over No. 2 Tamawashi (2-2). The Mongolian veteran took Takakeisho back to the edge before the ozeki rallied and looped around for a push-out.
Asanoyama (1-3) overpowered No. 2 Hokutofuji (1-3) and picked up his first win of the meet. The struggling ozeki drilled Hokutofuji back and steadily muscled him over the edge before plowing him out for good measure.
Okinoumi (1-3) also earned his first win and handed sekiwake Mitakeumi (2-2) his second straight loss. The komusubi got the better hold off the initial charge and took Mitakeumi to the edge, staying on his feet long enough to shove his opponent out while being pulled down.
No. 1 Takanosho (3-1) secured his third straight win by defeating his second sekiwake of the meet, Daieisho (1-3). After holding his ground in a thrusting battle, Takanosho pulled Daieisho off-balance and then pushed him out.
Komusubi Endo (2-2) quickly bulldozed No. 3 Terutsuyoshi (2-2) off the raised ring in their first top-level match-up and ended a two-bout losing streak.
No. 3 Myogiryu, No. 5 Kiribayama and No. 11 Chiyotairyu all dropped to 3-1 to forfeit their share of the lead.
Myogiryu, who defeated both komusubi and new sekiwake Daieisho over the first three days, had no answer for a reversal from No. 4 Yutakayama (1-3), who thrust his opponent down.
Kiribayama was pushed out by No. 6 Takayasu (3-1), while Chiyotairyu (3-1) was slapped down by No. 12 Kotoshoho (3-1).