Ozeki Kirishima's forgettable run of results continued Saturday at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament with a loss to third-ranked maegashira Takanosho.

The action inside the ring at Edion Arena Osaka was overshadowed by the withdrawal of lone yokozuna Terunofuji (2-5) earlier on Day 7 due to lower back pain and other health issues.

Former sekiwake Takanosho (3-4) continued to be a thorn in the side for Kirishima (2-5), improving to 10-1 in their head-to-head rivalry by pushing out the Mongolian-born ozeki after he tried to dodge sideways.

"Today I was able to hold my ground after the opening clash," said Takanosho, who beat Terunofuji a day earlier. "I've just been able to exert my brand of sumo."

Takakeisho (back) pulls down Nishikigi on Saturday at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.
Takakeisho (back) pulls down Nishikigi on Saturday at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament. | Jiji

Kirishima, who won last November's championship and was a title contender in January, had bounced back from four straight losses in Osaka with consecutive victories before losing to Takanosho.

No. 17 maegashira Takerufuji stands alone atop the leaderboard in his top-division debut after wrapping up the first week at 7-0. Another promising talent, fifth-ranked maegashira Onosato (6-1), dropped a rung after taking his first loss of the 15-day meet.

Ozeki Hoshoryu, Kotonowaka and Takakeisho all picked up wins to improve to 5-2. Hoshoryu stayed on the attack in pushing down komusubi Abi (5-2), while Kotonowaka beat second-ranked maegashira Meisei (2-5) with an arm-lock throw.

Takakeisho, fighting as a demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki after pulling out in January, moved closer to the eight wins needed to keep his rank by thrusting down komusubi Nishikigi (1-6).

The injury-plagued Terunofuji's latest withdrawal follows his triumph at January's New Year tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, which was his first full 15-day meet since the previous May.