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Onosato Displays Fancy Footwork to Beat Daieisho and Stay Tied for Summer Basho Lead

The native of Ishikawa Prefecture is gaining more confidence by the day at the 15-day Summer Basho in Tokyo as he pursues his first championship.

Komusubi Onosato displayed spectacular athleticism on Sunday, May 19 when he dodged to his right and swatted down Daieisho to remain in a tie for the lead at the Summer Basho.

Onosato absorbed several powerful arm thrusts and was pushed back to the edge. But he calmly read the situation and stepped to his side before slapping down the top maegashira to improve to 7-1.

Daieisho dropped to 6-2. Onosato is tied with rank-and-filer Takarafuji at 7-1 at the midway point of the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo Tournament. 

It was a further display that Onosato can win by brute force or superb footwork as was the case on Sunday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

With his sixth straight win, the native of Ishikawa Prefecture has now beaten yokozuna Terunofuji, two ozeki and a top maegashira.

Because Onosato has already beaten wrestlers in the sanyaku ranks, he will face lower-ranked grapplers in the second week of the basho, which will be in his favor as he pursues his first Emperor's Cup.

Summer Basho
Hoshoryu (front) defeats Ura in a Summer Basho match. (KYODO)

Hoshoryu Outduels Ura in Summer Basho Showdown

In other major bouts, Mongolian ozeki Hoshoryu used a frontal crush-out to improve to 5-3 and prevent Ura from staying tied for the lead as the fourth-ranked grappler dropped to 6-2.

In a ferocious slap-fest, ozeki Kotozakura finally prevailed over Oho when he shoved out the fourth-ranked maegashira in the day's final bout to move to 6-2.

Oho entered the final bout having beaten ozeki wrestlers in two consecutive days but couldn't make it three straight and dropped to 3-5.

No 2 maegashira Hiradoumi improved to 3-5 when he got a right hand inside on top maegashira Atamifuji and dropped the struggling top maegashira with a thrust-down technique.

Atamifuji started the tournament with high expectations and hopes of being promoted to the sanyaku ranks but lost his fifth straight bout and fell to 2-6.

Summer Basho
In an all-maegashira battle, Takarafuji (left) faces Ryuden at Ryogoku Kokugikan. (KYODO)

Further down the ranks, No 16 maegashira Takarafuji improved to 7-1 when he shoved out No 14 Ryuden, who dropped to 5-3.

Mitakeumi Conquers Shonannoumi

No 7 maegashira Mitakeumi overpowered 10th-ranked Shonannoumi with a series of arm thrusts to give both grapplers a record of 6-2.

Summer Basho
Midorifuji (right) grapples with Tamawashi on Day 8. (KYODO)

In one of the more crowd pleasing bouts, diminutive Midorifuji deployed an under-shoulder swing-down to topple veteran Tamawashi.

The two grapplers exchanged a series of arm thrusts before sixth-ranked Midorifuji got a left hand inside to pull off his signature move and improve to 3-5. Mongolian Tamawashi, a No 9 maegashira, dropped to 2-6.

No 3 maegashira Tobizaru shifted to one side and used a hand pull-down to defeat fifth-ranked Onosho and give both wrestlers a record of 4-4.

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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