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Kotozakura Picks Up All-Important Win Over Shonannoumi at Summer Basho

The ozeki grappler improved to 10-3 and is now tied for the lead with Onosato with just two days left in the Summer Basho at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

It wasn't pretty but ozeki Kotozakura managed to maintain his share of the lead with a win over Shonannoumi on Friday, May 24 at the Summer Basho.

With the 15-day tournment entering the home stretch, Kotozakura was desperate for a win on Day 13 and that may explain his tactics against the rank-and-filer who entered the day's action tied for the lead.

Kotozakura shifted to his side immediately after the face-off and threw down Shonannoumi to improve to 10-3, pulling even with komusubi Onosato

Whether dodging to the side was intentional or not, it's a move that is often frowned upon as it's seen as evasive. 

Shonannoumi Remains in the Hunt for the Summer Basho Title

Tenth-ranked maegashira Shonannoumi didn't do himself any favors by not keeping his head up and joined a group of five wrestlers one win off the pace at 9-4.

In the day's final Summer Grand Sumo Tournament bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Hoshoryu used a powerful arm-lock throw to twist Midorifuji down to the dirt surface to join the 9-4 chase pack. Sixth-ranked Midorifuji dropped to 5-8.

Summer Basho
Onosato hands Ura a Day 13 loss at the Summer Basho. (©SANKEI)

Onosato Uses Brute Force to Beat Ura

Komusubi Onosato maintained his share of the lead when he crushed Ura at the face-off and shoved the fourth-ranked maegashira out into the second row of seats in a matter of seconds.

Onosato improved to 10-3 while Ura lost his seventh straight bout and dropped to 6-7. Ura has made a habit of coming in low at the face-off in an attempt to perhaps grab the legs of his opponents who by now seem well aware of the unorthodox technique.

Sekiwake Abi used an impressive pivot at the edge and thrust down Meisei to improve to 9-4. Fifth-ranked maegashira Meisei fell to 8-5.

Summer Basho
Wakamotoharu (left) locks arms with Oshoma in a Summer Basho bout. (©SANKEI)

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Oshoma Falls One Win Off the Pace

Sekiwake Wakamotoharu schooled Oshoma by breaking his grip on the belt and shoving the makuuchi division rookie out to improve to four wins, six losses and three absences.

Oshoma, a No 14 maegashira from Mongolia, dropped out of a share of the lead and now stands at 9-4.

Top maegashira Daieisho relied on his trademark arm thrusts to overpower former ozeki Mitakeumi to keep his title hopes alive while picking up his ninth win against four losses. No 7 Mitakeumi fell to 8-5.

Veteran Tamawashi, a No 9 maegashira who will turn 40 in November, prevailed in a battle of pushing and thrusting to defeat Oho while improving to 6-7. Fourth-ranked maegashira Oho dropped to 4-9.

No 14 maegashira Ryuden secured a winning record for the tournament when he shoved out former ozeki Shodai, who attempted an arm throw at the edge but couldn't pull it off and put himself in a vulnerable position.

Ryuden improved to 8-5 while ninth-ranked maegashira Shodai was handed his eighth loss against five wins.

Churanoumi of Okinawa shoved out fellow rank-and-filer Kotoshoho to ensure a winning record and give both wrestlers a record of 8-5.

Summer Basho
Churanoumi earns a victory against Kotoshoho. (©SANKEI)

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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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Summer Basho Tournament Records

Day Opponent Result