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Yokozuna Terunofuji found his way out of a tight spot to remain unbeaten with two other wrestlers on Thursday, the fifth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Terunofuji, who entered the 15-day event at Fukuoka Kokusai Center as the sport’s lone yokozuna, improved to 5-2 in seven career bouts against Takanosho (2-3).

A well-timed blow to the yokozuna’s throat prevented Terunofuji from grabbing his favorite left-handed over-arm hold from the get-go. That allowed Takanosho to yank on his opponent’s arm and nearly pull him out of the ring.

But just as he appeared off balance and on his way out of the ring, Terunofuji finally latched onto Takanosho’s belt, spun him around, and forced him out.

Ozeki Takakeisho also remained unbeaten, unleashing his patented shoving and thrusting attack to maintain his dominance over No. 3 Myogiryu (2-3), whom he beat for the 14th time in 15 career bouts.

No. 15 Abi (5-0) defeated No. 16 Akua in a battle between wrestlers who were re-promoted from the second-tier juryo division at this tourney.

Ozeki Shodai suffered his second defeat and his first since Day 1 as No. 3 Okinoumi (2-3) persistently worked for belt holds and doggedly forced the ozeki out.

No. 1 maegashira Wakatakakage (2-3) handed sekiwake Mitakeumi his first loss. Despite having his back to the straw, Wakatakakage took advantage of some crucial hesitation by his opponent to force him out.

Sekiwake Meisei (3-2) won a furious slapping-and-shoving battle against winless new komusubi Kiribayama, who was caught flat-footed by a shove and knocked backward off his feet.

Komusubi Ichinojo (2-3) missed an early chance to slap down No. 1 Daieisho (2-3), who seized the initiative and charged Ichinojo out.

Former ozeki Takayasu (4-1) beat rival No. 5 Hoshoryu (1-4) but only after the nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu frustrated Takayasu with some fancy footwork at the ring’s edge.

Takayasu, a master of evading opponents’ shove-out attempts by slipping sideways along the top of the straw bales, got a taste of that from Hoshoryu, who made one tight-rope escape before being forced out.

Tricky crowd favorite Ura (4-1) used a rare tottari arm-bar throw to stun rival No. 7 Chiyoshoma (3-2), who appeared to be inching his opponent slowly backward. Ura seized his opponent’s arm with both hands in a lightning-quick move and pulled Chiyoshoma off his feet.

No. 11 Terutsuyoshi (3-2) endured a long stalemate with much-larger No. 9 Aoiyama (3-2), overcoming a 66-kilogram disadvantage to hurl the Georgian to the clay with a shitatenage under-arm throw that brought the crowd to its feet.

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