Yokozuna Terunofuji made it easier for No. 1 maegashira Takanosho at the Great Fall Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, struggling ozeki Takakeisho continued his horror debut with a loss to komusubi Ichinojo.
Newly promoted Terunofuji (3-0) showed his strength and footwork by knocking out Takanosho (1-2) in Day 3’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, remaining undefeated in his first tournament as a grand champion.
Fight for promotion in all three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna, ancient sekiwake Takanosho dodged a belt grip but was quickly wrapped up and lifted by Terunofuji, the only competing yokozuna in Hakuho’s absence.
The Mongolian-born tall Hakuho was sidelined from the 15-day meeting with the rest of his Miyagino team, where two wrestlers tested positive for COVID-19.
After two straight losses, Takakeisho (0-3) looked set to push Ichinojo (1-2) over the edge before the imposing Mongolian managed a throw reversal.
The third loss in a row increases the likelihood of another withdrawal for Takakeisho, who withdrew from the July encounter with a neck injury that still appears to be a problem.
The 25-year-old fights as threatened with demotion kadoban ozeki and will lose his rank if he is not able to post a winning record.
Ichinojo’s decisive victory follows two bad losses for the 206kg mountain man, who suffered a coronavirus crisis late last month.
“It wasn’t the best, but I got the win,” Ichinojo said. “I’m just focusing on getting a tournament winning record. I will continue to do my sumo. “
Ozeki Shodai improved to 2-1 by quickly forcing Hokutofuji (2-1). After appearing to shake in his first two fights, Shodai had no trouble piloting the No. 2 maegashira over the edge of the jump.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (2-1) rebounded from his loss to Hokutofuji on Matchday 2 with a convincing victory over the dangerous youngster No.2. 1 Hoshoryu (1-2).
The two-time winner of the big tournament kept control from the jump as he crushed the rising star from Mongolia.
Meisei (1-2) scored his first victory as a sekiwake by beating No. 3 wakatakakage (2-1). After losses in his first two bouts for third in sumo, Meisei quickly defeated Wakatakakage by stepping aside and pushing him onto the clay.
The nightmare continued for komusubi Takayasu (0-3), losing a marathon bout to No. 2 Kiribayama (3-0), who looks set to continue his climb towards sanyaku.
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