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Sumo: Terunofuji overcomes tricky Ura to maintain sole lead on Day 10

Terunofuji (L) defeats Ura on the 10th day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sept. 21, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Lone yokozuna Terunofuji got back on track Tuesday at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, overcoming stubborn rank-and-file opponent Ura to maintain his outright lead at 9-1.

    A day after relinquishing his perfect record in a surprise loss to No. 4 maegashira Daieisho, the title favorite needed brains and brawn to dispatch No. 6 Ura in an intriguing final bout of Day 10 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    With a hold on his opponent's arm, Terunofuji had to fend off an audacious leg-pick from the maegashira before the pair broke apart and locked up again.

    Four-time Emperor's Cup winner Terunofuji ended the stalemate with an overarm throw as Ura attempted a gravity-defying escape, doubling over backward with his hand on the newly promoted yokozuna's belt.

    The sole grand champion in the absence of Hakuho, who is out of the 15-day tournament under coronavirus safety protocols, Terunofuji has a one-win buffer over a pair of rank-and-file wrestlers, No. 6 Onosho and No. 10 Myogiryu, at 8-2.

    Onosho pushed out No. 11 Endo (7-3), while Myogiryu forced out No. 8 Okinoumi (7-3) to maintain second place on the leaderboard.

    "I'm just doing my sumo. I'm just taking each day at a time and not thinking beyond that," Myogiryu said.

    Ozeki Takakeisho pushed out newly promoted sekiwake Meisei (4-6) and improved to 6-4 with his fourth straight victory.

    The pair traded slaps and thrusts in the middle before Takakeisho seized the momentum with a series of hard shoves.

    The demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki, who needs eight or more wins to keep his rank, has turned things around in the second week of the tournament following a nightmare 0-3 start.

    Ozeki Shodai moved to the brink of a winning record at 7-3 by slapping down Daieisho (6-4).

    Former sekiwake Daieisho thrust Shodai backward with his opening attack, but the ozeki remained planted inside the ring before dumping his opponent to the clay.

    Sekiwake Mitakeumi advanced to 7-3 by overwhelming No. 3 Wakatakakage (4-6), pushing the maegashira straight back and out after landing a powerful opening hit.

    No. 2 Kiribayama and No. 17 Chiyonokuni are also among six wrestlers with a 7-3 record.

    Both komusubi improved to 4-6 on the day. Takayasu won by default against No. 3 Kotonowaka (3-7), who earlier in the day pulled out with a left knee injury, while Ichinojo forced out No. 4 Tamawashi (3-7).

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