Terunofuji Nears Spring Basho Title

Ozeki Terunofuji took sole possession of the standings lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday, with one last day at the Edion Arena Osaka remaining.

Terunofuji’s sole possession of the lead came as a result of his win on Saturday, as well as yokozuna Kisenosato’s second straight loss after 12 straight victories to start the tournament — his first at sumo’s top rank. The two will now meet on Sunday, and if Terunofuji wins, he will become tournament champion.

It was doubtful Kisenosato would even compete on Saturday, as he fell on and injured his shoulder in his Friday defeat to yokozuna Harumafuji. Heavily taped, Kisenosato faced off with Kakuryu. With the crowd watching on in silence, Kakuryu easily managed to defeat Kisenosato, grabbing his belt and forcing him out.

Terunofuji’s victory is what got noise from the crowd, and not in the good way for Terunofuji. His victory over sekiwake Kotoshogiku saw Terunofuji dodge Kotoshogiku’s charge and easily slap him down, drawing jeers from the audience.

In other grand sumo tournament action, Mongolian sekiwake Tamawashi defeated yokozuna Harumafuji — giving the yokozuna his fourth defeat of the tournament — and sekiwake Takayasu defeated Takarafuji to stop a three-day losing skid.

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