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Komusubi Takayasu claimed his eighth victory Monday to maintain the outright lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, while sekiwake Terunofuji and rank-and-filer Chiyonokuni both stayed one win off the pace after bouncing back from defeats the previous day.

Takayasu (8-1) secured a winning record on Day 9 of the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan after comfortably beating No. 1 maegashira Onosho (2-7). The former ozeki halted his rank-and-file opponent’s low drive and forced him toward the straw before slapping him down to the sandy surface.

Takayasu (rear) battles Onosho on Day 9 of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | NIKKAN SPORTS
Takayasu (rear) battles Onosho on Day 9 of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | NIKKAN SPORTS

Fellow former ozeki Terunofuji, who lost to Takayasu on Day 8, advanced to 7-2 after beating No. 4 Myogiryu (5-4). Terunofuji pinned both of Myogiryu’s arms and stopped the maegashira in his tracks before claiming victory by arm-barring force out.

The big Mongolian needs 10 or more wins at the current meet to complete a remarkable return to ozeki, a rank he last held in 2017.

After debilitating knee injuries saw him drop as low as the fifth-tier jonidan division in March 2019, Terunofuji battled back to the top tier and has claimed 24 wins from the past two tournaments.

No. 9 Chiyonokuni improved to 7-2 after finding a way past former sekiwake and one-time Emperor’s Cup winner Tamawashi (5-4).

Chiyonokuni moved slightly to his left after the initial charge and swung the No. 6 maegashira to the edge before calmly pulling him down.

Ozeki Asanoyama (6-3) grappled No. 3 Shimanoumi (2-7) over the straw bales in a swift victory, while ozeki Takakeisho also secured his sixth win at the expense of komusubi Mitakeumi (4-5), who offered a little more resistance than Shimanoumi, but not enough to avoid a push-out defeat.

Takakeisho is fighting as a demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki after posting a losing record in January and needs eight wins here to retain his rank.

The struggles continued for fellow ozeki Shodai, who fell to komusubi Daieisho (4-5). Following a poor start to his first tournament since winning the Emperor’s Cup in January, Daieisho achieved a third straight win by thrusting out Shodai (4-5) in a one-sided battle.

Sekiwake Takanosho (6-3) pushed out No. 4 Kiribayama (3-6) in a matter of seconds to stop his two-match losing run.

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