Bulgaria’s best sumo wrestler Aoiyamamoved into the outright lead Thursday at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament after Hakuho suffered an upset loss to sekiwake Shodai.
Daniel Ivanov continued his impressive run by beating Mitakeumi and improving to 11-1, while Hakuho went down for just the second time in 11 bouts against Shodai at Edion Arena Osaka.
In a battle of former sekiwake with title aspirations, No. 13 maegashira Aoiyama (11-1) opened with a strong charge and stayed on the front foot to push out No. 3 Mitakeumi (9-3). With the result, Aoiyama evened the slate at four wins apiece head to head with Mitakeumi, who is bidding for a return to the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna.
Hakuho (10-2) delivered a powerful right-hand slap before driving Shodai to the edge, but the sekiwake powered his way back to grab a belt hold and force out the yokozuna, who took his first loss of the meet two days earlier.