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Confident Hoshoryu Ousts Tamawashi to Stay Undefeated at New Year Basho

Displaying dominant form, sekiwake Hoshoryu is now tied for the New Year Basho lead with four other wrestlers, including No. 3 maegashira Abi.

Hoshoryu overpowered fellow Mongolian Tamawashi on Wednesday, January 11 to stay undefeated and tied for the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Sekiwake Hoshoryu came bursting out of the face-off and got a double inside grip before using a frontal force-out to dispatch 38-year-old veteran Tamawashi, a No. 2 maegashira who dropped to 1-3.

Hoshoryu, the nephew of former grand champion Asashoryu, has looked very confident in his first four bouts as he bids for his first Emperor's Cup.

There is a long way to go but Hoshoryu, who has bulked up for the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, looks like a man on a mission. He will face top maegashira Daieisho on Day 5.

Hoshoryu won the Technique Prize in the November tournament with an 11-4 record. The Tatsunami stable wrestler now shares the New Year Basho lead at 4-0 with No. 3 maegashira Abi and three rank-and-filers.

Abi, the November tournament winner, used his trademark arm thrusts to the neck for a win over former ozeki Shodai.

Sekiwake Shodai, who needs 10 wins to regain ozeki status, dropped to 1-3.

Takakeisho Raises Record to 3-1

In the day's final bout, ozeki Takakeisho, the highest-ranked wrestler in the tournament, used his powerful arm thrusts to attack Mitakeumi and improve to 3-1. No. 2 maegashira Mitakeumi, a former ozeki, dropped to 2-2.

Three lower-ranked wrestlers also posted wins on Day 4 to stay atop the leaderboard.

No. 8 maegashira Onosho (4-0) used a right-handed thrust to the neck of Endo and drove the ninth-ranked maegashira out for a one-sided win. Endo fell to 2-2.

Thirteenth-ranked maegashira Kotoshoho got a left-arm grip on the belt of the Tochinoshin (2-2) and bundled the No. 11 maegashira out to stay undefeated at 4-0.

Another rank-and-filer who remains unbeaten is 10th-ranked Bulgarian Aoiyama, who was pushed back to the edge where he dodged to his side before swatting down No. 12 maegashira Kagayaki (2-2). 

Daieisho Outmuscles Wakatakakage

In other major bouts, Daieisho used a powerful shove to the neck at the face-off to force Wakatakakage out with a frontal charge to stay one win off the pace at 3-1. Sekiwake Wakatakakage, who put up little resistance, fell to 2-2.

Mongolian Kiribayama used a superb beltless arm throw to send winless fellow komusubi Kotonowaka tumbling down to the dirt surface. Kiribyama picked up his third win against a lone loss.

In a showdown of winless komusubi wrestlers, Wakamotoharu used a backward pivot throw at the edge to dispatch Meisei. But the ringside judges determined the match was a draw and called for a do-over.

In the rematch, Wakamotoharu wasted little time, using several powerful arm thrusts to the upper body to shove out Meisei (0-4) and improve to 1-3. 

Sekiwake Takayasu collected his first win when Tobizaru lost his balance at the edge and was thrust down by his opponent. Top maegashira Tobizaru dropped to 1-3.


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.

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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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