Ozeki Takakeisho fell to No. 2 maegashira Abi for his second defeat in four days at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, putting a dent in his yokozuna promotion bid.
New Year meet champion Takakeisho (2-2), aiming to reach the sport's highest rank by winning the Emperor's Cup here, was quickly outflanked by Abi (3-1). November's Kyushu meet winner, Abi, jumped to his right straight away and swung the ozeki around by the neck.
The ozeki, who appeared to hurt his left leg in Tuesday's win, tried to stay inside the raised ring but was powerless to avoid being slapped down and out at Edion Arena Osaka.
Takakeisho is the highest-ranked wrestler at this month's tournament as sole yokozuna Terunofuji remains out of action following double knee surgeries in October.
Deieisho (4-0) overpowered No. 3 Mitakeumi (1-3) to stay unbeaten. Although he pushed the former ozeki to the straw, the komusubi was unable to finish him there and had to chase him back across the ring to thrust him out.
No. 5 Midorifuji, No. 7 Takayasu, No. 10 Nishikifuji and top-tier makuuchi debutant No. 15 Hokuseiho all earned their fourth wins to join Daieisho as co-leaders.
Sekiwake Kiribayama's left-handed attack to the throat met stern resistance from Wakamotoharu (2-2). But a sudden pull-down move sent the komusubi sprawling forward, and Kiribayama needed just a little nudge from behind to earn his third win.
Sekiwake Hoshoryu (2-2) evened his record after beginning the meet with two defeats. After going head-on with No. 1 Tamawashi (1-3), the nephew of former Mongolian great Asashoryu pushed the veteran out in a frantic encounter after recovering quickly from a missed foot sweep.
Sekiwake Wakatakakage (0-4) is still searching for his first win after No. 1 Shodai (3-1) made aggressive forays from start to finish in a comprehensive push-out win. Shodai used his big frame to great effect in a manner the former ozeki has long been missing.
Komusubi Tobizaru (3-1) suffered his first defeat when his slight move to the side at the start backfired. No. 2 Ryuden quickly seized a right overarm belt hold before reeling off a pulling throw to register his first win.
Komusubi Kotonowaka (3-1) received a low charge from Nishikigi (0-4), but his fast under-shoulder swing down left the No. 3 rank-and-filer on the dirt.
Sumo: Takakeisho win puts yokozuna promotion bid on track
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