Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho shot down relegation-haunted Chiyotaikai to remain tied for the lead with ozeki Harumafuji at 10-0 heading into the home stretch of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
Asashoryu, Hakuho’s chief rival, stayed hot on the heels of his fellow Mongolians with an almost-comical win over Baruto and stayed one win off the pace alongside fourth-ranked maegashira Kisenosato.
Hakuho delivered another assured performance at Ryogoku Kokugikan, escaping Chiyotaikai’s throat grip and getting his left hand on the ozeki’s belt to march him out and extend his winning streak to 30 regulation bouts.
Chiyotaikai (5-5) is wrestling with his ozeki status on the line for a record 13th time and needs to win three of his remaining five bouts to avoid demotion from sumo’s second-highest rank.
Harumafuji took another step toward his first championship title with a hard-fought win over Kotomitsuki. The wrestler formerly known as Ama bided his time and broke up a mid-ring stalemate to chase Kotomitsuki (7-3) out and move into double digits.