FUKUOKA – Ozeki Chiyotaikai battered Aminishiki to maintain his unbeaten start and grab the sole lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
Chiyotaikai (6-0) disposed of sekiwake Aminishiki (3-3) with a devastating flurry of slaps and thrusts in the day’s penultimate bout, while grand champion Hakuho kept up the chase after defeating fellow Mongolian Kakuryu.
Estonian giant Baruto began the day tied for the lead but suffered his first defeat in his return to sumo’s top flight and dropped into a share of second on 5-1 with Hakuho and four other wrestlers.
In the day’s finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Hakuho put on a clinical display, getting both hands on Kakuryu’s belt and easily flooring the third-ranked maegashira with a well-worked overarm throw.
Hakuho is the odds-on favorite to cart home a fifth career title in the absence of suspension-hit grand champion Asashoryu.