Rank-and-file wrestler Gonoyama caused Thursday's biggest upset as he handed ozeki Hoshoryu his first loss of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

The result left promotion-chasing sekiwake Kotonowaka and No. 7 maegashira Asanoyama as the only unbeaten wrestlers through Day 5 of the 15-day tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Gonoyama (R) forces out Hoshoryu on Day 5 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 18, 2024. (Kyodo)

The sport's lone yokozuna, Terunofuji, and the man currently bidding to join him at the top rank, ozeki Kirishima, both racked up victories to move alongside Hoshoryu on the second rung of the leaderboard at 4-1.

No. 3 Gonoyama (2-3), who made his top-division debut last July, delivered a flawless opening charge to catch Hoshoryu off balance and drive him straight over the edge.

"I'm very happy. I've been working on my footwork since before the tournament," the 25-year-old Osaka native said.

Kotonowaka moved one win closer to the 13 he needs for ozeki promotion by pushing out komusubi Ura (1-4). The 26-year-old sekiwake shook off a throw attempt by his smaller opponent before spinning him around and pushing him out from behind.

Despite still looking some way off his imposing best, injury-plagued yokozuna Terunofuji was able to manufacture another victory and stave off talk of his retirement by pushing out No. 3 Hokutofuji (3-2).

Kirishima bounced back from his first loss the previous day by thrusting down No. 2 maegashira Abi (0-5). The ozeki rode his luck, however, just staying inside the straw before the former sekiwake put a foot out.

Former ozeki Asanoyama was in control from the outset as he forced out No. 8 Hiradoumi (3-2).

Fast-rising No. 1 Atamifuji (1-4) broke through for his first victory by pushing out No. 4 Tobizaru (3-2). The 21-year-old soared up the ranks after challenging for the title at the previous two meets, but has so far struggled against the top half of the draw here in Tokyo.


Related coverage:

Sumo: Midorifuji stuns promotion-chasing Kirishima at New Year meet

Sumo: Komusubi Takayasu withdraws at New Year meet

Sumo: Injury returnee Terunofuji loses to Wakamotoharu on Day 2