Fukuoka – Yokozuna Terunofuji overcame a tough challenge to remain among the unbeaten leaders with a 4-0 record on Wednesday at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
No. 2 maegashira Onosho and Terunofuji provided most of the thrills on Day 4’s final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. Onosho, who entered the contest with a 4-2 record against the yokozuna, kept Terunofuji off his belt from the get-go and fought him to a standstill at mid-ring.
As Terunofuji’s frustration appeared to mount, he made more and more aggressive lunges toward his opponent. But Onosho dodged those efforts and began sliding the yokozuna back toward the straw.
Just as things began to look bleak, Terunofuji turned the tables on his antagonist. With one quick move, the yokozuna wrapped up Onosho’s arms in a vice-like grip, and used that hold to steer his opponent out to his fourth defeat.
The victory kept Terunofuji tied with five others in the year’s final 15-day grand tournament.
Ozeki Takakeisho remained unbeaten with an energetic win in a rough-and-tumble bout against No. 1 Daieisho (1-3), who tried to out-shove the sport’s premier shoving-and-thrusting artist, only to be on the receiving end of a master class.
Although he showed he could hang with Takakeisho for a few exchanges of blows, the ozeki was simply too relentless for the challenger, who at one point was caught off balance and rocked off his feet. Takakeisho recovered but his position deteriorated until the ozeki thrust him down at mid-rib.
Fellow ozeki Shodai stayed one win back of the leaders at 3-1 with a solid effort against an ineffective charge by No. 1 Wakatakakage (1-3). Shodai received the youngster’s charge, calmly wrapped up his opponent’s arms and steered him out to win his third straight after an opening-day loss on Sunday.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi improved to 4-0 with his 12th win in 18 career bouts with Mongolian-born komusubi Ichinojo (2-2), while sekiwake Meisei evened his record at 2-2 with a win over No. 3 Myogiryu, a surprising contender for the title in September.
No. 12 Hokutofuji, who dropped from No. 2 after missing 10 bouts due to injury in September, outlasted No. 11 Terutsuyoshi (2-2) to remain unbeaten after their marathon match.
No. 15 Abi and No. 16 Sadanoumi each won to improve to 4-0 after earning re-promotion from the second-tier juryo division.
New komusubi Kiribayama was shoved out to his fourth straight loss by No. 2 Takanosho (2-2).
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