no. 8 maegashira Hokutofuji maintained his perfect track record and took the sole lead after seven days at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday when No. 3 Tamawashi got his first defeat.
Tamawashi (6-1) was on the cusp of his seventh straight win as he forcefully drove Wakatakakage (4-3) to the brink, but the sekiwake held out, pushing the 37-year-old Ryogoku Kokugikan veteran down.
Wakatakakage (R) defeats Tamawashi on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on September 17, 2022. (TBEN)
Hokutofuji moved slightly to the left to soften the opening impact of number 10 Takanosho (4-3) in his fight and kept charging low en route to a solid push-out win, which prevented Takanosho from holding a belt.
“Succeeded to attack without pause, helped (in getting the win),” said 30-year-old Hokutofuji as he marked his 500th appearance in the elite makuuchi division and continues his quest for his first-ever championship.
Yokozuna Terunofuji (4-3) avoided his third straight defeat as the great champion quickly grabbed a left upper arm strap before forcing the giant komusubi Ichnojo (2-5), the winner of July’s Nagoya contest.
No. 4 Takayasu (6-1) joined Tamawashi to maintain a win behind Hokutofuji after a trio of maegashira started the day 5-1. The powerful punches from the former ozeki gave Endo (3-4) no chance as the number 6 was pushed out.
Hokutofuji (L) attacks Takanosho en route to victory on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on September 17, 2022. (TBEN)
No. 6 Wakamotoharu (5-2) was knocked down by a defeat to Georgian No. 8 Tochinoshin (3-4), the former ozeki used his elbow to lift his counterpart’s jaw before pulling back at the right moment to take the win .
No. 15 Oho (5-2) lost for the second day in a row, the grandson of the late Yokozuna Taiho failed to stop the low opener of No. 11 Kotoshoho (4-3) before being pushed out.
Takakeisho (5-2) was the only ozeki to triumph on the day, keeping his cool in pushing away imposter No. 3 Ura (4-3) in a battle of two stocky wrestlers.
Komusubi Kiribayama (5-2) grabbed the title with both hands to relegate-threatened ozeki Mitakeumi (3-4), who will need eight wins over the 15-day tournament to retain the ancient sport’s second-highest rank , to turn off.
Shodai (1-6) fell for his sixth straight loss and faces an uphill task to avoid a losing record as the ozeki was fought out comfortably by No. 4 Nishikigi (4-3).
Diminutive No. 1 Midorifuji (3-4) lifted the crowd as his quick moves outflanked Hoshoryu (4-3) before pushing the agile sekiwake from behind in a thrilling fight, while sekiwake Daieisho (1-6) was knocked down by a tenacious no. 2 Kotonowaka (4-3).
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