Ozeki Kisenosato fell to his second loss at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on May 17, cutting his lead down to just one win as the competition enters its final days.
No. 4 maegashira Tochiozan dealt Kisenosato the big defeat with a spirited attack. Tochiozan, who trails the ozeki at 9-3, drove Kisenosato back twice after getting his arms inside the ozeki's defenses, then finished him off with a strong thrust to the chest.
Though he still leads, Kisenosato really needed to get past Tochiozan to maintain a cushion before he goes into the homestretch--and into his showdown on May 18 with yokozuna Hakuho, the defending champion.
"I won because I kept up my attack," Tochiozan said. "I wanted to go right inside and drive him out, but that didn't work."
Hakuho, meanwhile, flipped ozeki Kotoshogiku out to his fourth loss. Despite his broken finger and four losses so far, Hakuho has been bouncing back nicely and, as a matter of yokozuna honor, will be looking to rain on Kisenosato's parade on May 18.
Blowing what could have been a chance to solidify his status in the title race, Baruto dropped to his fourth loss as Bulgaria's Kotooshu drove him out. The Estonian stood up too straight and Kotooshu rammed him straight out before he could get back in position. Kotooshu is 7-5.
Pulling even with Baruto, Kakuryu easily forced Mongolian compatriot Harumafuji (6-6) out of the ring to claim his eighth win and add another success to his debut at ozeki.
No. 2 maegashira Gagamaru grimaced and fumbled as sekiwake Goeido dominated their bout, but then turned the tables and sent Goeido plunging forward when he leaned in just a tad too far. It was only the fourth win for the big Georgian, but saves him a little bit of face. Goeido needs two more wins to come out with a winning record.
Sekiwake Toyonoshima took a pounding from komusubi Homasho and went over the edge to his sixth loss. Homasho is 2-10.
Komusubi Aminishiki won a do-over match against No. 3 maegashira Toyohibiki. The two hit the ground at roughly the same time in the first bout, forcing the rematch, but Aminishiki (7-5) was in control the second time around and swung Toyohibiki (5-7) out.
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