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Mongolian Trickster Hoshoryu Defeats Wakamotoharu to Maintain Lead at Kyushu Basho

Sekiwake Hoshoryu used another unorthodox technique to pick up his sixth win and stay tied with three others at the 15-day tournament in Fukuoka.

Mongolian Hoshoryu dug into his bag of tricks again on Saturday, November 19 to defeat Wakamotoharu and stay tied for the lead at 6-1 on Day 7 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Throughout the tournament, Hoshoryu has displayed a variety of winning techniques. The nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu is not afraid to try anything to win and it's exciting to watch as he's so unpredictable.

On Saturday, the sekiwake got a double inside grip on the belt of Wakamotoharu and then used an outside leg trip to topple the stunned No. 4 maegashira, who dropped to 4-3.

Hoshoryu, who used a rare backward counter-throw on Day 5, is tied with top maegashira Takayasu and rank-and-filers Abi and Oho.

In other major bouts, Takayasu used a powerful thrusting attack to defeat Daieisho and improve to 6-1. Komusubi Daieisho dropped to 3-4.

Former sekiwake Takayasu, who is bidding for his first Emperor's Cup, was in contention for the title until the last day of the September tournament but lost to sumo's ironman Tamawashi.

No. 9 maegashira Abi kept pace with the leaders at 6-1 when he deployed his trademark arm thrusts to the neck to send winless maegashira No. 8 Takarafuji over the edge.

Further down the ranks, No. 13 maegashira Oho maintained a share of the lead when he swatted down juryo wrestler Hidenoumi, who fell to 1-6.

Kadoban ozeki Shodai swatted down winless No. 3 maegashira Ura to improve to 4-3. It was a clutch win for Shodai, who is halfway to achieving the eight wins he needs to maintain his ozeki status.

Takakeisho Conquers Midorifuji

In the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Midorifuji (2-5) attempted to step to his side at the face-off but ozeki Takakeisho was having none of it and flung the No. 3 maegashira out to improve to 5-2.

Takakeisho has won both of his Emperor's Cups at the Kyushu Basho and is still very much in contention as the 15-day tournament nears the halfway point.

Komusubi Tobizaru used a series of powerful arm trusts to send sekiwake Wakatakakage backpedaling out of the ring. Both men stand at 4-3.

March tournament winner Wakatakakage came into the Kyushu meet as a potential title contender but will need to pick up the pace in the second week to have any chance.

Nishikifuji stayed in the chase pack of wrestlers at 5-2 with a hard-fought force-out win over eighth-ranked maegashira Tochinoshin (3-4).

Myogiryu Extends Win Streak to Four

No. 7 maegashira Myogiryu won his fourth straight bout to improve to 5-2 when he swatted down sixth-ranked Nishikigi, who fell to 3-4.

Komusubi Kiribayama of Mongolia got an underhand grip on the belt of Mitakeumi and drove the sekiwake out to pick up his fifth win against two losses.

It was a critical loss for Mitakeumi, who needs 10 wins in this tournament to regain his ozeki status. He lost his second straight and dropped to 4-3.

Up-and-coming grappler Kotonowaka, celebrating his 25th birthday, got a double inside grip before using a frontal push-out to send September tournament winner Tamawashi toppling off the raised ring.

After losing his first three bouts, top maegashira Kotonowaka won his fourth straight and improved to 4-3. The misery continued for Mongolian veteran komusubi Tamawashi, who fell to 1-6.

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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