Ozeki Takakeisho remained at the front of the pack with a hard-fought win, but sekiwake Shodai suffered an upset loss and relinquished his share of the lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Takakeisho beat No. 4 maegashira Yutakayama on Day 7 at Ryogoku Kokugikan to improve to 6-1 and establish himself as the favorite for the Emperor’s Cup after the opening week of the 15-day tournament.
With yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu both out through injury, Takakeisho is tied at the top of the standings with rank-and-filers Kotoshoho and Tobizaru.
In the day’s penultimate bout, the 24-year-old ozeki delivered a hard opening blast, but Yutakayama (2-5) held his ground and fought back with a thrusting attack.
The pair exchanged blows before Takakeisho’s powerful pushing and thrusting drove the maegashira backward and out.
Shodai, pursuing his first top-division championship, had the early upper hand against komusubi Okinoumi (2-5).
The sekiwake twice pushed Okinuomi back to the edge, but the komusubi kept his footing each time before executing a thrust down.
Ozeki Asanoyama (4-3) earned a straightforward victory against No. 3 Terutsuyoshi (2-5) in the day’s final bout.
The maegashira tried to go inside from the jump, but the powerfully built Asanoyama anticipated the move and easily pushed him out.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (4-3) had his bid for a third Emperor’s Cup hurt by an upset loss against No. 2 Tamawashi (3-4).
Despite a dominating 21-2 record in their head-to-head meetings coming into the bout, Mitakeumi allowed the maegashira to seize the opening momentum and offered little resistance as he was pushed out.
Newly promoted sekiwake Daieisho dropped to 2-5 after a spirited battle against No. 4 Tochinoshin (3-4).
Daieisho escaped multiple attempts at a belt hold by the former ozeki and fought back with a pushing and thrusting attack before being forced out.
No. 1 Terunofuji, winner of the July grand tournament, improved to 5-2 by pushing out komusubi Endo.
The Mongolian former ozeki spun Endo (3-4) around by his arm and shoved him out from behind for a fifth straight win.
No. 12 maegashira Kotoshoho, fighting in his second top-division meet, earned an impressive thrust-down victory against No. 16 Hoshoryu (3-4), whose debut in the top flight is being closely watched since he is the nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu.
Makuuchi-division debutant No. 14 Tobizaru knocked No. 11 Chiyotairyu (5-2) from his spot among the leaders with an underarm throw.
No. 9 maegashira Onosho, who entered Friday’s bouts as the outright leader, also dropped off the pace at 5-2 after taking his second straight loss, against No. 6 Kagayaki (5-2).
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