Sumo: Kisenosato remains in 5-way share of lead at New Year tourney

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Kisenosato momentarily appeared to have suffered his first loss at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament as the referee erroneously declared his opponent the winner of their bout Wednesday but the decision was soon corrected to give the ozeki a 4-0 record.

The only one among four ozeki without a loss so far in the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, Kisenosato shares the lead with yokozuna Hakuho and three maegashira wrestlers.

The 30-year-old Kisenosato, looking for his first championship in the makuuchi division, circled around the dohyo in a bear hug with Shohozan (2-2) before twisting No. 2 maegashira down at the edge of the raised ring.

The referee of the match initially pointed his fan toward Shohozan's side but immediately signaled Kisenosato as his intended winner. Ringside judges then discussed the matter and affirmed the corrected decision.

After two false starts, Hakuho and komusubi Tochinoshin (0-4) got into a tussle before the Mongolian grand champion edged out the Georgian. Hakuho now has a 24-0 career record against Tochinoshin.

China's No. 10 maegashira Sokokurai withstood forceful charges from ninth-ranked Kaisei (2-2), who is 10 centimeters taller and about 50 kilograms heavier than he, and executed an overarm throw to keep his perfect record and even his career record with the Brazilian to 2-2.

Takanoiwa also remains without a blemish as the No. 10 maegashira had little trouble with Chiyonokuni (2-2), easily thrusting down the eighth-ranked maegashira.

In a bout between rank-and-file grapplers with 3-0 records, 15th-ranked Sadanoumi edged out No. 16 maegashira Osunaarashi, sending the Egyptian to his first loss of the tourney.

Among eight grapplers at a pace off, top maegashira Mitakeumi notched his second win from a yokozuna this week as he edged out Kakuryu (3-1), claiming his first victory over the Mongolian in three matchups.

No. 6 maegashira Chiyoshoma pulled fifth-ranked Takekaze down by the arm, putting both wrestlers at 3-1. The Mongolian has won all three meetings against Takekaze.

Two ozeki stand at 2-2, Goeido defeating top maegashira Takarafuji (0-4) and Kotoshogiku, set to face demotion to sekiwake with a losing record here, falling to sekiwake Shodai (2-2).

In the penultimate match, yokozuna Harumafuji (2-2) beat No. 2 maegashhira Arawashi (0-4).

Ishiura, who made headlines for driving to Ryogoku Kokugikan in a McLaren sports car Tuesday, got his first win, the diminutive No. 9 maegashira shoving out 11th-ranked Kagayaki (1-3).

==Kyodo

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