Ozeki Takakeisho and three other wrestlers maintained their perfect starts after five days at the November Grand Sumo Tournament as new ozeki Shodai withdrew from the meet on Thursday with a left ankle ligament injury.
Takakeisho, the only wrestler remaining in the competition from the sport’s second-highest rank, did his best to keep the fans happy at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan by decisively thrusting out No. 2 maegashira Daieisho (3-2) to close out top-division action on Day 5.
Shodai, who had been slated to appear in day’s final bout, left the meet with a 3-2 record while his scheduled opponent, No. 2 maegashira Onosho, picked up his first win by forfeit.
Shodai joins fellow ozeki Asanoyama, who pulled out on Tuesday with a deltoid muscle injury, on the sidelines alongside Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu, who said they would not compete before the start of the 15-day meet due to injuries.
Komusubi Terunofuji, meanwhile, put on a stunning display to stay in contention for his third makuuchi-division title and second of the year.
After securing a left-handed belt hold against Hokutofuji, the former ozeki lifted the No. 4 maegashira clear off the ground before crashing the rank-and-filer down to his first loss.
Lower down in the elite division, No. 14 Chiyonokuni slapped down No. 11 Sadanoumi (1-4) at the edge of the raised ring to collect his fifth straight win.
No. 17 Shimanoumi struggled to gain purchase on Kotonowaka (3-2) but his tireless charges paid dividends in the end as he defeated the No. 14 maegashira by to also remain undefeated.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi overpowered No. 1 Wakatakakage (1-4) and claimed a quick force-out win for his third victory.
New sekiwake Takanosho also improved to 3-2 after pushing out No. 1 Kiribayama (1-4), while komusubi Takayasu was thrust down to his fourth loss by No. 3 Okinoumi (4-1).
Among the seven men tied for the overnight lead, No. 7 Endo suffered his first defeat of the basho at the hands of Takarafuji (4-1). Endo’s overly cautious approach allowed Takarafuji to swivel him off balance and push him out from behind.
No. 9 Kotoeko also fell to his first loss despite making headway against No. 8 Terutsuyoshi (2-3), who delivered a last-ditch slap-down on the ropes while managing to stay inside the straw bales.
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