Estonian ozeki Baruto fell to a big upset on July 15 to drop out of the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, while Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Harumafuji cruised to their eighth wins.
Hakuho had a bit of a scare against sekiwake Tochiozan. Although he dominated the bout, he touched ground at the edge as he pushed Tochiozan out. But, fortunately for the yokozuna, Tochiozan had already planted his right foot outside the ring, so by that time Hakuho had clearly won the bout.
Baruto, the big loser of the day, was bettered by new komusubi Myogiryu. The hitherto undefeated ozeki was completely helpless as Myogiryu deflected his initial onslaught, then slipped inside and fought Baruto into an upright position. Baruto tried to come over his shoulders with a counterattack, but he had no strength and Myogiryu (5-3) sent him packing.
The fight went pretty much as Myogiryu had planned and was a textbook example of how a smaller wrestler can get an advantage against a much bigger one.
"I was able to fight my style," Myogiryu said, smiling. "I'm feeling confident."
Unbeaten Harumafuji hit komusubi Toyonoshima head on at the face-off and never looked back. Combining thrusts and very solid footwork, he plowed forward until his prey was almost out, then launched a final thrust that had so much power it took him off his own feet. He fell to the dirt, but Toyonoshima (1-7) had already stepped out.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku kept sekiwake Goeido from using his arms effectively and shoved him out before he could put up much of an offense, although he did manage to get a hold with his left hand.
Kotoshogiku is doing relatively well, though he hasn't been in the leading pack due to his third-day loss. He could still make up for that, however, and is now in a comfortable position.
Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu got a hold on the front of No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi's belt, but couldn't do anything with it as his opponent drove forward and bulled him out. It was Okinoumi's first win and Kotooshu's second loss.
"He's big, so I knew I had to get inside," Okinoumi said.
Kakuryu hasn't been fighting at his best and he narrowly defeated top maegashira Aminishiki, but mainly because Aminishiki (2-6) overextended as he attacked. Aminishiki had Kakuryu on the run, but leaned way too far forward and the Mongolian ozeki was able to maneuver to the side and let him fall.
Kakuryu shook his head in disappointment afterward at his own performance. Even so, he has four straight wins, and six overall, so he still has some room to work out the kinks.
Kisenosato and No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu had some trouble getting their bout going, but once they did the ozeki was in the driver's seat all the way. He got his hands on Wakakoyu's belt and took him over and out for his sixth win and Wakakoyu's sixth loss.
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