FUKUOKA – Asashoryu gave countryman Kakuryu a sumo clinic to remain undefeated heading into the second week of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Sumo’s strongman, gunning for his 25th Emperor’s Cup, stayed tied for the lead with fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and rank-and-filer Yoshikaze with a 7-0 record.
Asashoryu was the picture of composure despite a relentless attack from the sekiwake (2-5), waiting for the perfect moment as he hunkered down with his opponent before deploying an overarm throw at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Hakuho, meanwhile, got a firm left-handed grip on Estonian behemoth Baruto (4-3) before dumping the sekiwake onto his back with a leg trip to keep himself in the running.
In other key bouts, Bulgarian Kotooshu stayed one off the pace after wrapping up Goeido (2-5) from the rear and bumping the komusubi into the front row of ringside seats.
But Chiyotaikai took another step in the wrong direction when his punchless thrusting attack proved ineffective against Tochiozan (3-4), who pushed him to a fifth consecutive defeat.
The Kokonoe ozeki is just three losses shy of relegation to sekiwake.
Hometown favorite Kaio (4-3) got both arms around the belt of Kotoshogiku (3-4) before charging forward to shove the No. 2 maegashira over the straw bales.
Harumafuji pushed Takekaze to the edge once but backpedaled and was swatted down by the No. 1 maegashira. Both wrestlers sit at 3-4.
“I was very focused today. The only thing I was thinking about was moving forward,” said Takekaze, who beat the Mongolian ozeki for the first time in 13 bouts.