Sumo: Yokozuna Terunofuji survives scratch and stays 1 win back


Sole yokozuna Terunofuji’s poise was on full display as he pulled back from a poor start on Wednesday to take his third win and remain behind the leaders on the fourth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo tournament.

No. 2 maegashira Meisei came past the yokozuna’s left side twice, only for Terunofuji to spin out of his grasp and certain defeat. When the Yokozuna closed his opponent’s arms, Meisei leaned back and lifted Terunofuji.

But again Meisei was unable to capitalize on his short advantage. Before he could spin the yokozuna out of the ring, Meisei’s knees buckled and he fell backwards to defeat.

Terunofuji (R) defeats Meisei on the fourth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on September 14, 2022. (TBEN)

No. 3 Tamawashi, the highest ranked of four maegashira wrestlers with perfect records in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, was out of the blocks faster than ozeki Shodai (1-3), who was pushed on the back foot and quickly forced out by the Mongolian iron Man.

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Ozeki Takakeisho (3-1) handled a challenging performance by No. 2 Kotonowaka (1-3). After failing to drive off his foe at the start, Takakeisho resorted to left-handed throat thrusts and savage right-handed punches to turn the tide and push his opponent out.

Mitakeumi, struggling as a relegated “kadoban” ozeki, fell back to 2-2, forced by Tobizaru (2-2). The No. 1 maegashira outclassed the ozeki on the opener, grabbed the ozeki’s belt and took control of the match.

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Mitakeumi will need eight wins in the 15-day tournament to continue wrestling like an ozeki in the next major tournament in November.

New sekiwake Hoshoryu (3-1) forced komusubi Kiribayama (2-2), putting an end to his compatriot’s resistance with a vicious throat blow.

July’s champion Komusubi Ichinojo improved his record to 2-2 by pushing Daisho (1-3) out from behind after the sekiwake botched an attack for the second day in a row.

Sekiwake Wakatakakage took his first win the hard way, outdoing and beating top maegashira Midorifuji (1-3) in a fast-paced battle of fast, wiry wrestlers.

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Again number 3 Ura (3-1) electrified the crowd, turning his back on his opponent, crouching low and placing his shoulder under the victorious Takarafuji’s armpit. Ura rode up with his powerful lower body and lifted his opponent up and over his back.

“He beat me very well,” Takarafuji said after losing using the rare “tsutaezori” armpit drop technique.

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