Takayasu, who upset previously undefeated Takakeisho on Day 3, took advantage of a superior face-off to defeat the only remaining undefeated wrestler in sekiwake Hoshoryu and give both men a record of 3-1.
Takayasu, who is aiming for his first championship, and Hoshoryu are now among 13 wrestlers who are tied for the lead at 3-1, an early indication that the 15-day Kyushu Basho will be a wide open affair.
Both Ozeki Defeated
The tournament’s two ozeki wrestlers are not among the leaders.
“I just tried to go forward,” Meisei said. “I was doing my best and not thinking too much about my record. I’m from Kyushu so I wanted to put up a good result in front of the home fans."
Mitakeumi Improves to 3-1
It was a clutch result for Mitakeumi, who needs at least 10 wins in this tournament to get his ozeki rank back.
Ura attempted an ill-advised swat-down at the edge and that allowed Mitakeumi to shove his opponent out with authority.
Tamawashi (left) tussles with Daieisho on Day 4. (ⒸSANKEI)
In an all-komusubi showdown, Mongolian Kiribayama established a superior position after the face-off and then used a twisting over-arm throw to send Tobizaru sprawling to the dirt surface and give men a record of 3-1.
Tobizaru came in low at the face-off. While he got a grip of Kiribayama’s belt, his head was underneath Kiribayama’s arm so he was in no position to pull off a winning technique.
Seventh-ranked Endo is off to a sluggish start and dropped to 1-3.
Wakamotoharu Tied for the Lead
Onosho wraps up a win against Abi. (ⒸSANKEI)
Further down the ranks, previously undefeated grapplers Kotoshoho and Hiradoumi lost their Day 4 bouts to drop to 3-1.
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.
New Year Basho Tournament Records