Ozeki Takakeisho claimed a comfortable win Tuesday, the third day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, getting his yokozuna promotion bid on track after an opening-day defeat.
Takakeisho (2-1), who can reach the highest rank by winning the Emperor's Cup here following his New Year meet title in January, produced one of his trademark explosive charges and forced No. 1 Shodai (2-1) to the edge in the blink of an eye at Edion Arena Osaka.
Shodai got off to a fine start at the 15-day meet, so unlike the early-tournament struggles that plagued him as an ozeki and led to his demotion. He showed some grit but was pushed out.
Takakeisho is the highest-ranked wrestler at this month's tournament with sole yokozuna Terunofuji still out of action following double knee surgeries in October.
Kiribayama (2-1) backpedaled in the face of a strong opening drive from No. 1 Tamawashi (1-2), but the sekiwake had enough leeway near the edge to swivel down the charging veteran with a left beltless arm throw.
Wakatakakage fell to 0-3 despite withstanding fierce shoves from No. 2 Abi (2-1). The sekiwake stumbled as he looked to recover ground and was slapped down to the surface by November's Kyushu meet champion.
After the komusubi quartet began the tournament with perfect records, two suffered their first defeats. Wakamotoharu was the first to fall, having no answer to a thunderous drive from No. 3 Mitakeumi (1-2), with the former ozeki claiming an emphatic force-out win.
Kotonowaka (2-1) easily seized a left overarm belt hold against sekiwake Hoshoryu and seemed on course for another victory, but his push near the edge lacked power and allowed his counterpart to snatch a force-out first win with a swift counter.
Daieisho cruised to his third win, his thrusts to the throat of No. 2 Ryuden (0-3) proving effective in a one-sided push-out win.
Tobizaru, whose name means "flying monkey," jumped to his right to dodge the opening charge from Nishikigi (0-3) before thrusting the No. 3 down in a flash.
No. 15 Hokuseiho continued his perfect start to life in the top division by grappling out fellow makuuchi debutant Kinbozan, the Kazakhstani No. 14, to his first defeat.
Sumo: Ozeki Takakeisho bounces back on Day 2 of Spring tourney
Sumo: Tobizaru upsets lone ozeki Takakeisho on Spring meet Day 1
Sumo: Sole yokozuna Terunofuji to skip Osaka tournament