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Onosato Crushes Kirishima to Stay One Win Off the Pace at the Summer Basho

The newly promoted komusubi is trending upward while Kirishima is heading in the opposite direction in the 15-day Summer Basho in Tokyo.

Komusubi Onosato overpowered struggling grappler Kirishima on Thursday, May 16 to stay one win off the pace at the Summer Basho while heaping more misery on the relegation-threatened ozeki.

Rising star Onosato maneuvered Kirishima to the edge of the ring at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan and then used a powerful crush-out technique to improve to 4-1 in the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

The ringside judges had to huddle to make sure that Onosato didn't step out before the ozeki. They were able to confirm that the referee made the correct call.

It was close but doesn't change the fact that Kirishima is struggling mightily in the first week of the tournament.

Kirishima, who went 5-10 in the previous tournament in March, needs a winning record here to maintain his status for the next basho in July. He dropped to 1-4 after Thursday's loss and will need to turn things around fast.

Onosato continues to impress in his komusubi debut. He is coming off back-to-back 11-4 tournaments in which he contended for the title and looks set to be in the mix once again. 

Summer Basho
Kotozakura (left) outwrestles Tobizaru. (©SANKEI)

Ozeki Kotozakura kept pace with Onosato at 4-1 when he used his weight advantage to force out No 3 maegashira Tobizaru (2-3).

Rank-and-filers Mitakeumi, Ura and Takarafuji share the early lead at 5-0. 

Hoshoryu Conquers Gonoyama in Summer Basho Showdown

In other major bouts, ozeki Hoshoryu came bursting out of the face-off, got both arms around Gonoyama and drove the No 2 maegashira out and into the first row of seats to improve to 3-2. 

Hoshoryu and Gonoyama were meeting for the fifth time. Gonoyama couldn't mount any sort of counterattack and dropped to 2-3.

Summer Basho
Mitakeumi (left) tussles with Meisei in an all-maegashira showdown. (©SANKEI)

No 7 maegashira Mitakeumi got a left-hand grip on the belt of Meisei and forced out the fifth-ranked grappler to improve to a perfect 5-0. Meisei fell to 3-2.

Mitakeumi hasn't got off to a 5-0 start since January of 2022. That was when he won the championship with a 13-2 record and was then promoted to ozeki for the next tournament.

Fourth-ranked maegashira Ura used an under-shoulder swing-down to defeat seventh-ranked Nishikigi and maintain a share of the lead at 5-0.

Further down the ranks, rank-and-filer Takarafuji shoved out top juryo grappler Daiamami (2-3) to improve to 5-0.

Top maegashira Daieisho used his trademark arm thrusts to send sekiwake Abi (3-2) backpedaling off the raised ring to move to 4-1.

Sekiwake Wakamotoharu deployed a strong overarm throw to send up-and-coming grappler Atamifuji toppling to the dirt surface. 

Wakamotoharu picked up his third win against a pair of losses while top maegashira Atamifuji fell to 2-3.

Summer Basho
Sadanoumi defeats Shodai on Day 5. (©SANKEI)

Sadanoumi Reaches 700-Win Milestone 

No 11 maegashira Sadanoumi picked up his career 700th victory when he bulldozed former ozeki Shodai out of the ring with several powerful arm thrusts.

Sadanoumi improved to 3-2 while ninth-ranked maegashira Shodai dropped to 2-3.

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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