• KYODO

  • SHARE

Rank-and-file grappler Tobizaru produced the biggest upset so far at the November Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, handing overnight leader and title favorite Takakeisho his first loss.

The No. 4 maegashira, who became a sensation by contending for the title in his top-division debut in September, showed impressive strength and dexterity to outmaneuver the powerful ozeki in the final bout of Day 9 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The highest-ranked wrestler left in the field, ozeki Takakeisho opened with his customary pushing and thrusting attack, but Tobizaru held his ground despite a roughly 50-kg weight disadvantage.

With Takakeisho looking to drive him out, Tobizaru (3-6) caught the ozeki off balance and slapped him down.

“I’m so glad that I won over an ozeki. It’s like a dream come true,” Tobizaru said.

With both yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu, as well as ozeki Asanoyama and Shodai, out of the 15-day tournament due to injury, the pressure is on 24-year-old Takakeisho to win his second Emperor’s Cup.

The loss saw him drop into a three-way tie for the lead with Takarafuji and Shimanoumi at 8-1. It also handed a lifeline to the winner of the July tournament, Terunofuji (7-2), who suffered his second straight loss on Monday against fellow komusubi Takayasu after finishing the first week undefeated.

In a fierce battle between former ozeki, Takayasu (5-4) took Terunofuji to the edge before the powerfully built Mongolian fought his way back to the middle. Terunofuji resisted Takayasu’s attempt to slap him down but succumbed to a rear push out after being spun around.

No. 6 Takarafuji secured his first winning record in three meets by thrusting down No. 3 Okinoumi (5-4). The Isegahama stablemate of Terunofuji was nearly forced out before he executed the winning move.

“I was in a very dangerous position but I was able to pull off a throw,” Takarafuji said. “By sparring with the likes of Terunofuji, I’ve been able to get stronger.”

No. 17 Shimanoumi secured a winning record by pushing out No. 12 Yutakayama (2-7).

Sekiwake Mitakeumi lost to No. 5 Myogiryu in an upset that may end his hopes of a championship.

Getting the better of the initial clash, Myogiryu (3-6) forced out Mitakeumi (6-3) with relative ease.

Up-and-coming No. 5 Kotoshoho (5-4) showed strong footwork as he upset new sekiwake Takanosho.

Takanosho (4-5) came inside looking for a hold, but 21-year-old Kotoshoho slipped to the side before thrusting him down.

Wildly popular No. 11 Enho ended a nightmare run of eight consecutive losses to start the tournament by beating big Bulgarian No. 8 Aoiyama and improving to 1-8.

The smallest man in the division received an ovation from the crowd after grabbing Aoiyama (3-6) by the leg and forcing him out.

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.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)