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.
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.
Mongolian Kiribayama was completely fooled at the face-off and dropped to 3-2.
Sekiwake Shodai fell further off the pace in his bid to get the 10 wins he needs to regain his ozeki status.
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.
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.
New Year Basho Tournament Records