The Japan NewsYokozuna Kisenosato was the last to step into the ring on the middle day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on Sunday. One of three yokozuna remaining, he ended the eighth day as one of two undefeated wrestlers.
Kisenosato looked to have it easy by quickly getting No. 3 maegashira Shohozan (1-7) on the edge, before the maegashira made what seemed to be a comeback. Shohozan got both hands on Kisenosato’s belt, but couldn’t drive the bigger man out of the ring. The yokozuna, sensing the danger, tried to throw down Shohozan with his left arm. When that didn’t work, Kisenosato then tried to throw down the maegashira with his right arm, finally succeeding to the approval of the crowd.
Meanwhile, yokozuna Kakuryu (6-2) used brute strength shoving at the neck and adding a slap in the face of komusubi Shodai (3-5) to finally send his feisty opponent out of the ring.
Yokozuna Harumafuji (6-2) again showed his quickness, somehow getting his left hand around No. 2 maegashira Takanoiwa’s back to latch on to his belt right from the start and ushering Takanoiwa (2-6) to a seat outside the ring.
Ozeki Terunofuji (7-1) showed his strength in a quick finish of Mitakeumi (3-5), easily pushing out the komusubi after parrying his attack.
Sekiwake Takayasu retained his perfect record to keep pace with Kisenosato in a prolonged duel with No. 1 maegashira Ikioi, whose only victory so far was over Hakuho before the yokozuna pulled out of the tournament.
Takayasu’s left hand grabbed hold of Ikioi’s belt early in the bout and hung onto it throughout, eventually throwing the maegashira to the ground with his left arm.
Sekiwake Kotoshogiku (6-2) neutralized Sokokurai (2-6) at the center of the ring before slowly thrusting the No. 2 maegashira to the edge and pushing him out. Kotoshogiku, demoted from ozeki after the New Year tournament, today will face the former ozeki who went the other direction, Kisenosato, in what should be the match of the day.