In the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Takayasu used a forearm blast at the face-off to stun the ozeki and then shifted to his side before swatting his opponent down to give both wrestlers a record of 2-1.
Takakeisho has won both of his championship titles at this tournament and is one of the favorites to lift the Emperor's Cup at the end of the 15-day Kyushu Basho.
Takayasu has come close to winning the title before but has never been able to pull it off and is hoping this could be his chance.
"The face-off was good and I just tried to do my best," Takayasu said. "My body is in good shape. This is the last tournament of the year so I want to generate some buzz and see what I can do."
Shodai Earns First Win Over Kotonowaka
It was a confidence-boosting win for Shodai, who needs at least eight wins to maintain his ozeki rank for the next tournament.
Kotonowaka attempted to swat Shodai down but was unable to pull it off and that opened the door for the ozeki to drive his opponent out to his third straight loss.
Daieisho walks away from Mitakeumi after winning their Day 3 match. (ⒸSANKEI)
Sekiwake Mitakeumi, bidding to get his ozeki rank back with at least 10 wins in this tournament, suffered a setback when he was thrust down by komusubi Daieisho to give both wrestlers a record of 2-1.
Tobizaru Maintains Perfect Record
As a 37-year-old veteran, Tamawashi has seen a lot of moves in his career but perhaps none like the one Tobizaru threw at him on Day 3.
The September tournament winner is off to a sluggish start and dropped to 0-3.
Wakamotoharu improved to 2-1 while third-ranked maegashira Ura remains winless.
As is often the case, there were many empty seats at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center. The tournament is often sparsely attended in the first week and the absence of injured yokozuna Terunofuji doesn't help.
Abi Wins All-Maegashira Battle
Lower-ranked wrestlers Kotoshoho and Hiradoumi are also at 3-0.
No. 15 maegashira Atamifuji, making his debut in the elite makuuchi division, finally picked up his first win in the top flight when he shoved out winless juryo wrestler Churanoumi.
"It's a huge relief," said the 20-year-old Atamifuji, who improved to 1-2. "My sumo hadn't been good the first few days so it felt great to get the first win under my belt."
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