No. 8 maegashira Hokutofuji kept his perfect record and took the sole lead after seven days at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday when No. 3 Tamawashi was handed his first defeat.
Tamawashi (6-1) was on the verge of his seventh straight win as he powerfully drove Wakatakakage (4-3) to the edge, but the sekiwake held his ground and thrust down the 37-year-old veteran at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Wakatakakage (R) defeats Tamawashi on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sept. 17, 2022. (Kyodo)
Hokutofuji moved slightly to his left to soften the opening impact from No. 10 Takanosho (4-3) in his bout and kept charging low en route to a solid push-out win, not allowing Takanosho a belt hold.
"Managing to keep attacking without a break helped (in getting the win)," said the 30-year-old Hokutofuji as he marked his 500th appearance at the elite makuuchi division and continues his quest for his first-ever championship.
Yokozuna Terunofuji (4-3) avoided suffering his third straight defeat as the grand champion quickly held a left overarm belt hold before forcing out giant komusubi Ichnojo (2-5), the winner of July's Nagoya meet.
No. 4 Takayasu (6-1) joined Tamawashi to stay a win behind Hokutofuji after a trio of maegashira started the day at 5-1. The former ozeki's powerful shoves gave Endo (3-4) no chance as the No. 6 was pushed out.
Hokutofuji (L) charges at Takanosho en route to victory on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sept. 17, 2022. (Kyodo)
No. 6 Wakamotoharu (5-2) was pulled down to a defeat by Georgian No. 8 Tochinoshin (3-4), the former ozeki using his elbow to lift the jaw of his counterpart before backing off at the right moment to claim the win.
No. 15 Oho (5-2) lost for the second straight day, the grandson of the late yokozuna Taiho failing to halt the low opening charge from No. 11 Kotoshoho (4-3) before getting shoved out.
Takakeisho (5-2) was the only ozeki to triumph on the day, keeping his composure in shoving out trickster No. 3 Ura (4-3) in a battle of two stocky wrestlers.
Komusubi Kiribayama (5-2) grabbed the belt with both his hands to force out demotion-threatened ozeki Mitakeumi (3-4), who needs eight wins at the 15-day tourney to retain the second-highest rank of the ancient sport.
Shodai (1-6) fell to his sixth straight loss and faces an uphill task to avoid a losing record as the ozeki was comfortably grappled out by No. 4 Nishikigi (4-3).
Diminutive No. 1 Midorifuji (3-4) lifted the crowd as his quick movements outflanked Hoshoryu (4-3) before he pushed the nimble sekiwake from behind in an exciting bout, while sekiwake Daieisho (1-6) was thrust down by a tenacious No. 2 Kotonowaka (4-3).
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