Enjoying plenty of local support, regular grappler Meisei delivered one of Wednesday’s biggest surprises at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
The No. 2 maegashira from Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu earned his first win by knocking out ozeki Takakeisho (2-2) on a chaotic Day 4 at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, where there are no undefeated wrestlers left in the top division.
“I was just trying to move forward,” said former sekiwake Meisei (1-3). “I want to do my best for my loyal fans (in Kyushu).”
Meisei (back) defeats Takakeisho on the fourth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center in Fukuoka on November 16, 2022. (TBEN)
Relegated “kadoban” ozeki Shodai (2-2) also failed to win and remains six wins short of the eight it took to maintain his rank. The winner of a single Emperor’s Cup was forced out by July’s tournament champion, No. 2 Ichinojo (2-2).
Takakeisho and Shodai share the top step in the absence of injured Grand Champion Terunofuji, but they have not lived up to their tally so far, along with the rest of the three elite “sanyaku” ranks under Yokozuna.
Sekiwake Hoshoryu (3-1) had a chance to take the outright lead late in the day, but was unable to seal the deal against No. 1 Takayasu (3-1), who knocked down the 23-year-old rising star from Mongolia.
New komusubi Tobizaru (3-1) also started the day undefeated before losing to Kiribayama (3-1), who also fights from the fourth highest rank.
Sekiwake Wakatakakage (2-2) slipped to his fourth straight head-to-head defeat against No. 1 Kotonowaka (1-3), who recorded his first win of the match.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (3-1) scored another victory in his attempt to return to ozeki, knocking out No. 3 maegashira Ura (0-4).
In accordance with sumo rules, Mitakeumi can go straight back to the second highest rank with double-digit wins in his first tournament after relegation.
Sumo: Ozeki Takakeisho defeated by Takayasu in 1st defeat at Kyushu
Sumo: Ozeki pair triumph as Kyushu encounter sees no setbacks on Day 2
Sumo: Injured grand champion Terunofuji misses Kyushu tournament