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Takayasu Stuns Ozeki Kotozakura as Plot Thickens at Summer Basho

The veteran grappler returned to action from injury at the 15-day Summer Basho and has already beaten two ozeki, starting with Hoshoryu, in Tokyo.

Veteran Takayasu upset ozeki Kotozakura on Tuesday, May 21 to shake up the leaderboard with just five days left in the Summer Basho.

In the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, No 3 maegashira Takayasu maneuvered the ozeki to the edge of the ring where he deployed a spectacular last-gasp arm throw that sent both men toppling off the raised ring.

But Kotozakura touched down first to drop to 7-3 and fall out of the lead. Takayasu, who missed five days due to injury, improved to four wins, one loss and five absences.

"It was a long bout," Takayasu said of his showdown with Kotozakura. "I just got into a good position and was able to use the arm throw."

Takayasu won't be able to win the tournament but he can certainly play spoiler. He returned to action the previous day and promptly beat ozeki Hoshoryu.

With five days left in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, Onosato is tied for the lead at 8-2 with rank-and-filers Shonannoumi and Takarafuji.

A large group of seven wrestlers, including Kotozakura, is one win off the pace at 7-3.

Summer Basho
Onosato (right) seizes control against Gonoyama in a Summer Basho match. (©SANKEI)

Onosato Whips Gonoyama

Komusubi Onosato bounced back from Monday's loss to Hiradoumi when he came bursting out of the face-off and used a powerful series of arm thrusts to send No 2 maegashira Gonoyama backpedaling out of the ring.

Onosato improved to 8-2 to secure a winning record for this tournament while Gonoyama dropped to 4-6.

"Yesterday was my worst performance yet so I wanted to turn things around with a good result today and I was able to do that," Onosato said. "I've got my winning record so will now just try to stay focused for the remaining five days."

Onosato will face ozeki Hoshoryu on Day 11.

Summer Basho
Takarafuji (left) forces Ichiyamamoto to the edge of the raised ring en route to victory. (©SANKEI)

Takarafuji Improves to 8-2

Veteran Takarafuji, a No 16 maegashira, maintained a share of the lead at 8-2 when he used a frontal force-out to beat No 12 maegashira Ichiyamamoto.

It was the first time since Day 10 of the New Year Basho in 2022 that Takarafuji has wrapped up a winning record.

"I've been practicing very hard and it's paid off," said Takarafuji. "It's nice to wrap up a winning record as it's been a while. I will just try to stay focused for the remainder of the tournament."

Tenth-ranked Shonannoumi also stayed in the lead and wrapped up a winning record when he improved to 8-2 by shoving out the much smaller Midorifuji in a matter of seconds.

No 6 Midorifuji fell to 4-6.

Summer Basho
Kotoshoho (left) grapples with Mitakeumi. (©SANKEI)

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Kotoshoho Tops Mitakeumi for Seventh Straight Win

No 8 maegashira Kotoshoho won his seventh straight bout when he spun seventh-ranked Mitakeumi around and shoved the former ozeki out to give both wrestlers a record of 7-3.

Top maegashira Daieisho used an arm thrust to the neck to defeat fourth-ranked Oho (4-6) and improve to 7-3.

Ozeki Hoshoryu swatted down Onosho immediately after the face-off to move to a rather unimpressive 6-4. Fifth-ranked maegashira Onosho fell to 4-6.

Sekiwake Abi deployed a barrage of ferocious arm thrusts to the head and neck of Ura before finally shoving the No 4 maegashira out to give both men a record of 6-4.

Ura did a spectacular somersault as he exited the ring to give the fans an added bonus.

Summer Basho
Abi manhandles Ura to collect his sixth win of the Summer Basho. (KYODO)

Tobizaru attempted a cheeky leg kick of top maegashira Atamifuji but it backfired as the third-ranked maegashira lost his balance and was shoved out over the edge. Both wrestlers stand at 4-6. 

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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