Rank-and-filer Tobizaru captured his 10th win at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday to remain in reach of winning the Emperor’s Cup in his top-division debut.

The makuuchi newcomer defeated Wakatakakage on Day 12 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan and ended the No. 8 maegashira’s eight-bout winning streak. Ozeki Takakeisho and sekiwake Shodai also improved to 10-2 and retained their share of the overnight lead.

Tobizaru (rear) and Wakatakakage battle on Day 12 of the Autumn Basho at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | NIKKAN SPORTS
Tobizaru (rear) and Wakatakakage battle on Day 12 of the Autumn Basho at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | NIKKAN SPORTS

Wakatakakage (9-3) sidestepped Tobizaru’s initial blast and went for a push-out, but Tobizaru bounced back and slapped Wakatakakage down while shoving him over the straw bales.

Shodai wasted little time dispatching No. 5 Takarafuji (6-6), raising the maegashira’s center of gravity and plowing him out of the ring.

Takakeisho earned his 10th win by forfeit after his scheduled opponent, Endo, withdrew from the tournament with a knee injury. The struggling komusubi fell to his sixth straight loss on Day 11 against No. 4 Tochinoshin.

According to his Oitekaze stablemaster, fluid had been building up in Endo’s right knee, the site of a lingering injury, since Day 4 of the 15-day meet.

“He can’t bend his knee. He’s powerless,” said Oitekaze, who assured his grappler would not return to competition.

Endo (3-9) joined 11 other wrestlers in the top two divisions who have pulled out of the tournament, including yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu.

In other bouts on Day 12, Asanoyama (9-3) survived a fight with sekiwake Daieisho (4-8) to keep his title hopes alive. The ozeki held his ground while Daieisho tried to rally, and drove his challenger out as he attempted to circle away.

July champion Terunofuji (8-4) fell further down the leaderboard after getting tossed out by No. 9 Onosho (9-3). The No. 1 maegashira blocked Onosho’s initial charge but was held upright and driven to the edge before crashing out.

Mitakeumi (7-5) was handed his fifth loss by No. 6 Takayasu (7-5). The former ozeki wrapped both arms around Mitakeumi at the edge and dropped the sekiwake to the clay.

Komusubi Okinoumi (4-8) resisted a pull-down attempt from Tochinoshin (5-7) and muscled the Georgian out of the ring.

No. 1 Takanosho (8-4) and No. 12 Kotoshoho (8-4) each clinched a winning record with victories over No. 6 Kagayaki (6-6) and No. 13 Ishiura (2-3-7), respectively.

The 21-year-old Kotoshoho went 8-7 in his makuuchi debut in July after claiming the juryo division title in March. Takanosho will face Tobizaru on Day 13.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.