The Japan News Yokozuna Kakuryu remained unbeaten at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday with a spirited victory over No. 5 maegashira Kotoshogiku on the 11th day, while rival and fellow yokozuna Hakuho stayed one step behind without having to fight at all.
Kakuryu, aiming for his sixth career championship, was bellied to the edge by Kotoshogiku, but kept his composure and fought out of the predicament. He then went on the attack and finished up his 30th win in 52 career matches between the two with a powerful shove that sent the maegashira plopping down onto his bottom.
Hakuho received a victory by forfeit when his scheduled opponent, ozeki Takayasu, pulled out due to an elbow injury, which produced a less-than-desired addition to sumo history.
It marks the first time in modern sumo history that none of four current ozeki competed on the same day of a tournament. Takakeisho withdrew before the tournament started, while Tochinoshin and Goeido dropped out on the sixth and eighth days, respectively.
Takayasu injured his left elbow on the eighth day at Aichi Prefectural Gym and, after splitting his matches over the next two days, ends the tournament with an 8-3 record. He is expected to be sidelined for at least a month due to ligament damage.
Of the three maegashira-ranked wrestlers still within striking distance of the leader, No. 7 Tomokaze and No. 16 Terutsuyoshi both came away with victories to improve to 9-2.
Meanwhile, a second change in the sanyaku ranks — the three below yokozuna — was assured for the next tournament when komusubi Ryuden was dealt his makekoshi eighth loss by No. 2 maegashira Endo, who remained patient before securing a belt hold and forcing Ryuden over the edge.
Sekiwake Tamawashi has already been assured of demotion, and was handed his 10th defeat in 11 matches when he was hauled down by No. 4 maegashira Ichinojo.
Fellow sekiwake Mitakeumi survived stiff resistance from No. 4 maegashira Meisei in an elongated bout before forcing him out to improve to 7-4.
Earlier, Tomokaze fought off an aggressive attack from No. 16 maegashira Kotoyuki, using the momentum to slap him down and preventing from chalking up his kachikoshi eighth win. Terutsuyoshi got the jump on No. 11 maegashira Nishikigi and never looked back in bulling him out of the ring.
The other maegashira who started the day with eight wins, No. 7 Myogiryu, was forced out by No. 8 maegashira Okinoumi.