/

Hakuho breezes past another foe

by David Hueston and Dave Hueston

Kyodo News

In recent memory, former yokozuna legend Chiyonofuji’s 53-bout winning streak stood alone as arguably the most impressive feat in the centuries-old sport.

Making it look ever so easy, yokozuna Hakuho matched that achievement on Friday with no end in sight, the Mongolian juggernaut continuing to crush would-be opponents in his path at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho defeated Kotoshogiku with a quick-dash slap down technique to improve to 6-0 to share the lead with ozeki Kotooshu and rank-and-filer Yoshikaze.

His amazing run began when he defeated Kotooshu on the 14th day of the New Year meet in January.

He tied the record held by Chiyonofuji — nicknamed “The Wolf” due to the icy stare he used to give opponents — set from the seventh day of the 1988 summer meet to the penultimate day of the Fukuoka meet the same year. The streak was the second longest held in the Showa era (1926-1989).

Futabayama holds the all-time record of 69 straight wins, which he set from the seventh day of the 1936 spring meet until the third day of the 1939 spring meet.

In other key bouts, Mongolian ozeki Harumafuji sent countryman Kyokutenho (2-4) backpedaling over the ridge with a throat grab to stay one off the pace at 5-1, but Kaio, the only remaining Japanese wrestler at sumo’s second-highest rank, was lifted out by Georgian Tochinoshin (4-2).

Kaio (3-3), who needs eight wins to stay as an ozeki, allowed the No. 2 maegashira to get both hands inside for a textbook frontal force out.

Estonian Baruto (5-1) stumbled slightly at the face-off against Aran (2-4) but regrouped quickly, sending the newly promoted sekiwake packing with a hard shove at the ring’s edge.