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Hokutofuji Snaps Losing Streak Against Hoshoryu, Grabs Share of the Lead at Nagoya Basho

Ninth-ranked maegashira Hokutofuji improved to 10-2 at the Nagoya Basho. Nishikigi has the same record with three days left in the tournament.

Hokutofuji upset sekiwake Hoshoryu on Thursday, July 20 to move into a two-way tie for the lead with fellow rank-and-filer Nishikigi on Day 12 of the Nagoya Basho.

No 9 maegashira Hokutofuji, who had lost his previous five bouts against Hoshoryu, forced the Mongolian grappler back to the edge and shoved him out to improve to 10-2.

Hoshoryu, who is bidding for promotion to ozeki, dropped to 9-3. He now needs to win his final three bouts at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament to have a chance at earning promotion to sumo's second-highest rank.

Nagoya Basho
Shonannoumi overpowers Nishikigi on Day 12. (ⒸSANKEI)

In other major bouts at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, makuuchi division rookie Shonannoumi used a textbook arm-lock throw to send overnight sole leader Nishikigi sprawling to the dirt surface and wrap up a winning record at 8-4.

Top maegashira Nishikigi dropped to 10-2.

"I just tried to stay focused and do my brand of sumo," said Shonannoumi, a No 14 maegashira.

He added, "I will just try to do my best tomorrow."

Hakuoho, another makuuchi division rookie, shoved out komusubi Abi (4-8) to pick up his ninth win against three losses. Hakuoho will face Nishikigi on Day 13.

Nagoya Basho
Kirishima forces Wakamotoharu over the edge of the raised ring to earn the win. (ⒸSANKEI)

Kirishima Tops Wakamotoharu

In the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, new ozeki Kirishima overpowered Wakamotoharu to move a step closer to securing a winning record.

Kirishima improved to six wins, four losses and two absences. Sekiwake Wakamotoharu dropped to 8-4 and now has no chance to secure promotion to ozeki for the next tournament in September.

Former ozeki Asanoyama returned to the tournament after a  three-day absence due to injury and used a beltless arm throw to defeat Tobizaru.

Nagoya Basho
Asanoyama wraps up his day's work with a win over Tobizaru. (KYODO)

No 4 maegashira Asanoyama improved to five wins, four losses and three absences. Top maegashira Tobizaru dropped to 6-6.

Veteran Tamawashi dealt a serious blow to Daieisho's ozeki promotion hopes when he shifted to his side after the face-off and swatted the sekiwake down to pick up his seventh win against five losses.

Daieisho fell to 8-4 with his second straight loss. He will need to win all of his remaining three bouts to earn consideration for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank.

Komusubi Kotonowaka used a beltless arm throw to defeat No 16 maegashira Endo and give both wrestlers a record of 8-4.

Ryuden Seals Winning Record

Further down the ranks, No. 15 maegashira Ryuden shoved out No 8 Nishikifuji to win his eighth straight bout and wrap up a winning record at 8-4.

At the other end of the spectrum, the misery continued for former ozeki Takayasu, who was overpowered by fellow rank-and-filer Gonoyama (7-5) to lose his seventh straight while dropping to 5-7.

No. 3 maegashira Meisei used a perfectly timed leg hook to toppled Shodai and improve to 5-7. It was his 200th makuuchi division win. No 2 maegashira Shodai also has a record of 5-7.


Author: Jim Armstrong

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

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