Newly promoted ozeki Hakuho made quick work of compatriot Kyokutenho Tuesday to maintain a share of the early lead with a spotless record on the third day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.
With the unexpected withdrawal of sole yokozuna Asashoryu due to an injury suffered to his right elbow on Monday, the title race has been left wide open with the limelight falling on the 21-year-old Hakuho at the 15-day tournament.
In the day’s action, both Tochiazuma and Kotooshu were left scratching their heads after suffering their second defeats.
Hakuho remained calm from start to finish in his bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, grappling his komusubi opponent by the back of the mawashi and grinding him out in a textbook fashion to share the lead with ozeki Chiyotaikai, sekiwake Miyabiyama and Russian maegashira Hakurozan at 3-0.
Asashoryu pulls out
Yokozuna Asashoryu decided to pull out of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, the third of the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.
Asashoryu hurt his right arm in a defeat to rank-and-filer Wakanosato on Monday, suffering his first loss on the second day of the tournament.
It is the second time Asashoryu has withdrawn from a tournament since he did so at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in 2003.
After capturing his first title of the year at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in March, Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu was aiming for his second consecutive victory or 17th career title.
Asashoryu won a record seven straight tournaments before his streak ended at the New Year’s meet in January with Tochiazuma claiming the title.