Shodai suffered his first loss at the November Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday and appeared to further aggravate a left ankle injury, leaving his further participation in the 15-day meet in doubt.
The newly-promoted ozeki had been one of 10 undefeated men at the start of Day 4 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. The group, headlined by ozeki Takakeisho and komusubi Terunofuji, was trimmed to seven by the end of the day’s bouts.
Fighting with a taped left ankle, Shodai made a brief defense against No. 2 maegashira Daieisho (3-1) in the penultimate bout of the day before getting driven out of the ring and hopping off the dohyo.
“I just focused and kept up my attack. I wasn’t thinking (about his ankle), I was just doing my best to produce my kind of sumo,” said Daieisho, who improved to 6-4 against Shodai.
Shodai, who won his maiden makuuchi-division title at the September meet, landed awkwardly on his left foot when he came off the dohyo in his Day 3 bout against komusubi Takayasu.
In addition to the two yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu, ozeki Asanoyama has also pulled out of the meet with an injury.
Takakeisho dispatched winless No. 2 Onosho to retain his unblemished record. Onosho got the better of their initial clash and looked to be in control until Takakeisho thrusted his away around the rank-and-filer and pushed him off the raised ring.
Terunofuji earned his fourth straight win while handing No. 3 Okinoumi his first loss.
The Mongolian former ozeki seized a left-handed inside belt hold after the pair clashed heads and withstood an overarm throw attempt before muscling Okinoumi over the straw.
No. 4 Hokutofuji also remains unbeaten after going into overdrive to beat Takayasu (1-3). The No. 4 maegashira came out of the gates charging, driving Takayasu to one edge of the ring before pulling him back and shoving the komusubi out the opposite side.
Takanosho (2-2) captured his second win after beating No. 1 Wakatakakage (1-3) in their first top-division meeting. Wakatakakage dodged the new sekiwake‘s initial thrust and tried to shove him out from behind, but Takanosho recovered and shoved his challenger out.
No. 1 Kiribayama continued to flummox Mitakeumi, defeating the sekiwake for the third time in as many match-ups for his first win of the meet. The pair locked up briefly before Kiribayama (1-3) leaped to the side while forcing down Mitakeumi (2-2).
Among the rank-and-file wrestlers, No. 7 Endo, No. 9 Kotoeko, No. 14 Chiyonokuni and No. 17 Shimanoumi all collected their fourth straight wins to retain a share of the lead.
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