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Veteran Takayasu Moves into Sole Possession of Lead at Kyushu Basho

Former ozeki Takayasu overpowered rank-and-filer Oho and moved a step closer to his first Emperor’s Cup, improving to 11-2 in the 15-day meet.

Takayasu (right) seizes control against Oho at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on November 25 in Fukuoka. (KYODO)

Former ozeki Takayasu defeated Oho on Friday, November 25 to move into sole possession of the lead with just two days left in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Top maegashira Takayasu got both hands on the belt of No. 13 maegashira Oho and appeared to be on the brink of a frontal force-out. But he changed his approach and used a textbook arm throw to improve to 11-2.

Takayasu is bidding for his first-ever Emperor’s Cup and will meet No. 15 Kagayaki on Saturday, the penultimate day of the 15-day tournament.

The veteran Tagonoura stable wrestler has been a runner-up five times.

Oho, the son of former sekiwake Takatoriki and the grandson of former yokozuna Taiho, dropped to 10-3. He is still in contention and will next face ozeki Takakeisho.

Takakeisho Outwrestles Hoshoryu

In the day’s final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, ozeki Takakeisho used his trademark arm thrusts to oust sekiwake Hoshoryu and give both wrestlers a record of 10-3.

Takakeisho has won the Emperor’s Cup twice, both times at the Fukuoka meet, most recently in 2020.

In the day’s first bout with championship implications, ninth-ranked Abi used his trademark arm thrusts to the neck to overpower No. 15 maegashira Kagayaki and improve to 10-3.

Kagayaki fell to 9-4 to drop out of contention.

Abi will take on Hoshoryu on Day 14.

Shodai to Lose Ozeki Status

Shodai suffered a crushing blow at the hands of komusubi Tamawashi, the September tournament winner, and will lose his ozeki rank for the next tournament.

Tamawashi (4-9) took advantage of a superior face-off and overpowered Shodai with arm thrusts to the neck to send the ozeki out to his eighth loss against five wins and a guaranteed losing record.

Sekiwake Mitakeumi swatted down No. 5 maegashira Hokutofuji to give both men a record of 6-7. Mitakeumi can’t get the 10 wins he needs to regain ozeki status, but still could get a winning record to stay in the sanyaku ranks for the next tournament.

Kotonowaka, Wakamotoharu Seal Winning Records

Top maegashira Kotonowaka secured a winning record when he shoved out third-ranked Midorifuji (6-7) to move to 8-5.

Fourth-ranked maegashira Wakamotoharu also wrapped up an all-important winning record, overpowering komusubi Daieisho (6-7) with a frontal force-out to improve to 8-5.

No. 16 maegashira Hiradoumi continued to impress when he got a left-hand inside grip on the belt of Endo and drove the seventh-ranked maegashira out to pick up his ninth win against four losses. Endo fell to 6-7.

No. 6 maegashira Ryuden got a right-handed grip on the belt and wrapped up a winning record at 8-7 when he forced out No. 14 Azumaryu (7-6).

In a showdown of struggling wrestlers, No. 3 maegashira Ura yanked Takarafuji’s arm, spun the eighth-ranked maegashira around and shoved him out from behind to improve to 3-10. Takarafuji fell to an unflattering 2-11.

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.

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