An awesome belt battle between the Komusubi ensued today. On the East side, Okinoumi was coming off his first win of the tournament against Sekiwake Mitakeumi yesterday. In the West, Endo had already taken out two top contenders in Ozeki Asanoyama and July champion Terunofuji. Six years the younger and eight years less experienced, Endo has taken 10 of the 18 matches against Okinoumi before today. Stylistically, both wrestlers favor the belt. Okinoumi prefers the right inside grip, whereas relatively versatile Endo tends to go for the left inside.
|East||Tale of the Tape||West|
|E. Komusubi||Rank||W. Komusubi|
|Migi yotsu-zumo||Style||Hidari yotsu-zumo|
|8 wins||Past Meetings (18)||10 wins|
|1-3||Record this Basho||2-2|
Endo went for his hidari-yotsu grip right off the bat, which kept Okinoumi in an uncomfortable position for the remainder of the bout. Okinoumi settled into the position before driving forward. The smaller rikishi dropped low and lifted to nullify the push and lifted Okinoumi for a forward drive of his own. Okinoumi tried for a left under-arm throw, but Endo braced his left foot against the South-West tawara.
From there, Endo continued his lift and drive, putting Okinoumi on the bales. Impatient, the Oitekaze man straightened up too much and allowed Okinoumi to defend and settle into another shitatenage attempt. Endo countered with another lift, this time leaving his opponent with nowhere to go. But the experienced Hakkaku wrestler arched back, only his lower legs remaining inside the circle! Endo could not stay low enough and was again lifted off his base.
Yet a third attempt from Endo to end it from his advantageous position, this time with visible fatigue. Bracing with his right, Okinoumi put everything into one last try for shitatenage. 1, 2, 3, 4, nearly 5 seconds was Endo’s right leg in the air! And he still managed to overpower Okinoumi’s throw and step forward! Lower this time, Endo gained another two steps forward and Okinoumi was out! He advances to 3-2 and meets hungry Sekiwake Mitakeumi tomorrow.