Tamawashi is supremely motivated today, not wanting to drop his eighth loss and demotion from his elevated Komusubi rank, but young M5 Takakeisho has other plans. Takakeisho hits hard at the tachiai and starts slamming away with sharp tsuppari thrusts, driving Tamawashi back to the tawara in short order. One last mighty shove sends Tamawashi over the edge to a losing record, and Takakeisho’s so in the zone he finishes a few shadow shoves against the air just to wind down. With a record of 9-6 and a kinboshi win over Yokozuna Harumafuji, Takakeisho earns the Shukun-sho, or Outstanding Performance Award.
Harumafuji leads with a right-handed slap to the face that lets him slip his left arm under and get the belt grip he’s aiming for. Tamawashi tries to shake him off with an arm lock, but Harumafuji’s grip is too strong. With good low posture, the Yokozuna bulls forward and takes Tamawashi over the edge of the ring. Tamawashi is in a precarious position at 5-7, while Harumafuji stays mathematically in the title hunt with ten other wrestlers tied for second place at 8-4.
Going into today’s bout, Chiyotairyu was the last remaining two-loss wrestler, only one behind tournament leader Goeido. Tamawashi removes him from that relatively lofty position, dragging him back down into the clump of thirteen wrestlers at three and four losses. Chiyotairyu puts up a good fight, but loses steam after the tachiai and lets Tamawashi take over the match. Good hips for Tamawashi at the edge give him a strong base to shove out Chiyotairyu.
Curious to see how Yoshikaze would come out after yesterday’s bloodbath against Shohozan, but I shouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t slow down at all. He leads with his face and works his way inside Tamawashi’s outstretched arms, securing a double-underarm position that lets him get his center of gravity underneath his opponent’s. Tamawashi holds out for a few seconds teetering on the edge of the ring, but Yoshikaze is too determined. Yorikiri (force out) win for Yoshikaze to improve to 5-4, as he deposits more blood from his busted eye on Tamawashi’s chest.
It’s still early, but Ozeki Goeido looks more and more likely as a possible championship contender, dominating tough opponent Tamawashi to earn his seventh win. The only other 7-1 wrestlers are M3 Onosho and M12 Daishomaru, neither of whom have experience challenging for a title late into the second week of the tournament.
Poor ‘Giku has now lost three in a row after rolling through the opening four days of the tournament undefeated. Today he simply gets out-muscled by Tamawashi, who takes him back to the edge and treats him to a taste of his own style, performed better.
Tamawashi completely destroys Mitakeumi on the tachiai, putting his head under Mitakeumi’s chin and driving him the length of the dohyo. Mitakeumi’s right arm is stuck in a clamp under Tamawashi’s left, so his only option is to twist sideways at the edge of the ring and go for a last-gasp sukuinage (beltless arm throw) with his left arm. Tamawashi goes flying, and the ref calls the bout for Mitakeumi, but a conference of the ring judges determines correctly that Mitakeumi’s right foot stepped out moments before Tamawashi’s left arm hit the ground, and the ref’s decision is reversed. Tamawashi gets the win.