Takakeisho bounced back from his first loss at the November Grand Sumo Tournament by beating rank-and-filer Myogiryu on Tuesday to keep a share of the lead at the 15-day meet.
The last remaining ozeki in competition at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan fended off some hard hits from the No. 5 maegashira in the final bout of Day 10 before slapping him down to the clay and improving to 9-1.
The odds had been heavily in favor of Takakeisho, who defeated Myogiryu (3-7) for the 11th time in as many top-level matchups in his quest for a second title and first since the 2018 meet in November.
Takakeisho remains in a tie with No. 17 Shimanoumi for the lead after 10 days, while overnight co-leader Takarafuji fell back to an 8-2 record alongside komusubi Terunofuji and No. 10 Ryuden.
Shimanoumi held onto his one-loss record by defeating No. 14 Chiyonokuni, who suffered his third loss in four days. Chiyonokuni tried to circle around Shimanoumi, one of the meet’s surprise contenders, having failed to budge him, but was pushed out at the edge.
Shimanoumi is now one victory shy of equaling the 10 wins he recorded in his makuuchi debut at last year’s Summer Grand Tournament, his best performance in the top division so far.
No. 6 Takarafuji lost a hard-fought battle against No. 4 Hokutofuji (6-4) and fell down the leaderboard to 8-2.
The evenly matched grapplers were ordered to redo their bout after tussling for over 90 seconds and toppling from the ring simultaneously in an energy-sapping first encounter.
In the rematch, Takarafuji rallied back from the edge once but did not have enough left in the tank to counter a thrusting attack from Hokutofuji that sent him over the straw bales.
Terunofuji manhandled No. 4 Tobizaru (3-7) in their first top-division meeting, a day after the maegashira, one of the makuuchi division’s newest additions, handed Takakeisho his first loss
The former ozeki wrapped up sumo’s “flying monkey” with a strong underarm grip, lifted him high off the clay and deposited him on the wrong side of the straw.
Having skipped the rank ahead of his ascent to ozeki in 2015, Terunofuji captured his first winning record as a komusubi, the sport’s fourth-highest rank.
No. 10 Ryuden (8-2) clinched his second winning record of the year and retained a shot at the title after dispatching No. 6 Tamawashi (6-4), who was quickly pushed out in his 1,000th bout in the top division.
No. 2 Daieisho shoved out No. 3 Okinoumi (5-5) to stand level with Chiyonokuni three wins off the pace.
Among the struggling members of the elite ranks, sekiwake Takanosho (5-5) drilled out komusubi Takayasu (5-5), while sekiwake Mitakeumi (6-4) was pushed out from behind by No. 5 Kotoshoho (6-4), who sidestepped his opponent’s initial charge.
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