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Hoshoryu Beats Wakamotoharu and Moves into a Tie for the Nagoya Basho Lead

Entering the final day of the Nagoya Basho, Mongolian grappler Hoshoryu, who has an 11-3 record, is even with rank-and-filers Hokutofuji and Hakuoho.

Mongolian Hoshoryu had the last laugh on Saturday, July 22 when he defeated fellow sekiwake Wakamotoharu to move into a three-way tie for the lead heading into the final day of the Nagoya Basho.

In the day's featured bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Wakamotoharu dodged to his side after the initial charge in an attempt to throw his opponent off his game. 

It was an uncharacteristic move for Wakamotoharu, who usually plays it straight at the face-off.

But Hoshoryu stayed calm and got an inside position on Wakamotoharu (9-5). He then unleashed a textbook arm-lock throw to send the sekiwake toppling and improve to 11-3.

Hoshoryu is now tied for the lead with rank-and-filers Hokutofuji and Hakuoho at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hoshoryu will face Hakuoho on the final day while Hokutofuji will take on Nishikigi. Regardless of what happens, a first-time winner will be crowned on Day 15.

Nagoya Basho
Hakuoho overpowers Hokutofuji on Day 14 at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. (KYODO)

A Big Win for Hakuoho

In an earlier bout, rising star Hakuoho, a No 17 maegashira, thrust down overnight leader and ninth-ranked maegashira Hokutofuji to give both men a record of 11-3.

Hakuoho is just 19 and is making his debut in the makuuchi division. 

Nagoya Basho
Another view of Hakuoho's match against Hokutofuji. (ⒸSANKEI)

No 15 maegashira Ryuden ended Nishikigi's title hopes when he used a spectacular arm throw at the edge to defeat the top maegashira, who lost his third straight bout and is now 10-4.

Ryuden, who is also at 10-4, held a 4-2 edge over Nishikigi in head-to-head matches in the makuuchi division prior to Saturday's showdown between the 32-year-old veterans.

Kotonowaka Earns 10th Victory

Komusubi Kotonowaka won his fifth straight after shoving out fourth-ranked maegashira Ura (6-8) to improve to 10-4.

Sekiwake Daieisho dodged to his side at the face-off and swatted down Onosho to pick up his ninth win against five losses. Fifth-ranked maegashira Onosho fell victim to the cheeky move and dropped to 6-8.

In the day's final bout, former ozeki Asanoyama used a spectacular beltless arm throw at the center of the ring to defeat new ozeki Kirishima.

Nagoya Basho
Asanoyama triumphs over Kirishima in the final Nagoya Basho match on Day 14. (KYODO)

Both men sat out parts of the tournament with injury. Due to Saturday's loss, Kirishima cannot get the required eight wins he needs for a winning record. As a result, he will be a relegation-threatened ozeki in the next tournament.

Kirishima stands at six wins, six losses and two absences. No 4 maegashira Asanoyama moved to seven wins, four losses and three absences.

"I just wanted to execute my brand of sumo and was able to do that today, my bicep was fine." Asanoyama said of the injury that forced him to briefly sit out. "Ozeki is ranked way above me so it felt good. I'm getting a lot of energy from the fans." 

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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New Year Grand Sumo Tournament Records: Makuuchi Division

New Year Basho Tournament Records

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