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Hoshoryu Topples Hiradoumi to Stay Tied for the Lead at Nagoya Basho

Sumo wrestlers Hoshoryu, Nishikigi and Hokutofuji all improved to 8-1 on the ninth day of the Nagoya Basho at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Hoshoryu dug into his bag of tricks on Monday, July 17 to defeat Hiradoumi and stay in a three-way tie for the lead at the Nagoya Basho.

Sekiwake Hoshoryu had his hands full with No 5 maegashira Hiradoumi in his bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

He was pushed back to the edge but used a rare hooking inner thigh throw to dispatch his opponent and improve to 8-1 in the 15-day Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. Hiradoumi fell to 3-6.

"I was able to react quickly," Hoshoryu said. "I've been able to fight my style of sumo. The winning record is not the final goal."

Hoshoryu, who is bidding to become the seventh ozeki from Mongolia, wrapped up a winning record and moved a step closer to being promoted to sumo's second-highest rank.

A member of the Tatsunami stable, Hoshoryu is the nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu.

His only loss so far came against Nishikigi on Day 3.

Nagoya Basho
Nishikigi (right) vies for victory against Mitakeumi. (KYODO)

Nishikigi Improves to 8-1

Top maegashira Nishikigi also wrapped up a winning record when he fought off a double-handed grip on the belt and shoved out No 2 Mitakeumi (1-8) to stay tied for the lead at 8-1.

With the winning record, Nishikigi moved a step closer to promotion to one of the three elite sanyaku ranks below yokozuna.

"I was able to come from behind to take the match," Nishikigi said. "It's too early to think about promotion. The tournament is far from over and I'd like to get double-digit wins."

No. 9 maegashira Hokutofuji came in low at the face-off and used a powerful arm thrust to the neck to send sixth-ranked Oho (3-6) back and out to improve to 8-1.

Hokutofuji picked up a winning record for the first time since September of last year.

"I went a long time without a winning record so it feels good," Hokutofuji said.

He added, "I wasn't able to fight my style of sumo in recent tournaments but I'm feeling much more confident now."

Nagoya Basho
Abi (left) and Daieisho square off at the start of their match on Day 9. (ⒸSANKEI)

Daieisho Overpowers Abi

Sekiwake Daieisho, who is also pursuing promotion to ozeki, spun Abi around and shoved him out with a powerful arm thrust to the next to move to 7-2.

Komusubi Abi got off to a good start but wasn't able to keep the momentum going and dropped to 4-5.

Wakamotoharu, another sekiwake chasing promotion to ozeki, threw down Ura to pick up his seventh win against two losses. Ura fell to 4-5.

Fan favorite Endo stayed in the title chase when the No 16 maegashira shoved out No 13 Gonoyama (5-4) to improve to 7-2.

New ozeki Kirishima, who sat out the first three days due to injury, thrust down Meisei to improve to 3-4-2.

To wrap up the winning record he needs to avoid becoming a relegation-threatened ozeki for the next tournament, Kirishima now needs to win five of his remaining six bouts.

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Injuries Impact Nagoya Basho

The Nagoya Basho has been hit by a series of withdrawals. Ozeki Takakeisho pulled out with injury shortly before the tournament started.

Kirishima pulled out on the opening day due to bruised ribs but returned on Day 4.

Grand champion Terunofuji decided to pack it in after going 1-2 in the first three days.

Former ozeki Asanoyama, currently a No 4 maegashira, pulled out on Day 8 with a bicep injury.


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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