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Abi Shoves Out Wakatakakage to Maintain Share of Lead at New Year Basho

The November tournament winner improves to 5-0, and Abi shares the lead with two rank-and-filers, Aoiyama and Kotoshoho.

November tournament winner Abi manhandled sekiwake Wakatakakage on Thursday, January 12 to maintain his share of the lead on Day 5 at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

No. 3 maegashira Abi wasted little time in the day's penultimate bout when he used a two-arm thrust after the face-off to send Wakatakakage back to the edge where the sekiwake simply lost his footing. 

Abi improved to 5-0 and shares the lead with rank-and-filers Aoiyama and Kotoshoho, both of whom won earlier bouts. Wakatakakage fell to 2-3.

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tamawashi and Takakeisho had three false starts before Takakeisho used his trademark arm thrusts to force the 38-year-old veteran out to improve to 4-1.

Ozeki Takakeisho is the highest-ranked wrestler competing in the 15-day basho. He is bidding for an Emperor’s Cup with a 15- or 14-win campaign that could see him earn promotion to yokozuna. He is one of seven wrestlers one win off the pace.

Hoshoryu Falls to Daieisho

In other major bouts, top maegashira Daieisho knocked Hoshoryu out of the lead. Daieisho used a series of thrusts to the upper body to send the sekiwake toppling off the raised ring. Both grapplers are 4-1.

Top maegashira Tobizaru dodged to his side shortly after the face-off and swatted down komusubi Kiribayama to pick up his second win against three losses. 

Mongolian Kiribayama was completely fooled at the face-off and dropped to 3-2.

In a showdown of two struggling wrestlers, komusubi Meisei finally earned his first win when he grabbed the arm of Shodai and shoved the former ozeki out. Both men are now 1-4.

Sekiwake Shodai fell further off the pace in his bid to get the 10 wins he needs to regain his ozeki status.

Kotonowaka picked up his first win as a komusubi when he knocked Takayasu (1-4) off balance with a grab of the arm before he shoved the sekiwake over the edge. 

Aoiyama Whips Oho

Further down the ranks, Bulgarian giant Aoiyama, a No. 10 maegashira, defeated Oho with an overarm throw to maintain his share of the lead at 5-0. No. 8 Oho pushed Aoiyama back to the edge but couldn’t finish off his opponent and fell to 0-5.

No. 13 maegashira Kotoshoho fought off an arm throw attempt by Mitoryu and used a thrust-down technique at the edge to stay undefeated at 5-0. Mitoryu, a 15th-ranked maegashira, dropped to 2-3.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Ryuden (3-2) knocked Onosho off the leaderboard with a frontal force-out. Onosho, a No. 8 maegashira, was handed his first loss and stands at 4-1.


Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles here.

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New Year Grand Sumo Tournament Records: Makuuchi Division

New Year Basho Tournament Records

Makuuchi Division

Day Opponent Result
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