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Leader Hakuho raises meet record to 10-0

by David Hueston and Dave Hueston

Kyodo News

Tochiozan causing Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho problems in pre-tournament training is one thing. This is nothing like training.

Hakuho dominated Tochiozan on Tuesday to extend his incredible winning streak to 57 bouts, retaining the sole lead with a 10-0 record at the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day’s final bout, Hakuho quickly got his right hand inside for a firm grip on Tochiozan’s mawashi before driving the sekiwake out of the ring. Tochiozan dropped to 7-3.

Hakuho, who topped former yokozuna Chiyonofuji (53) on the all-time list on the seventh day, currently holds the second best run since the start of the Showa era (1926-1989).

He is aiming to match the legendary Futabayama, the all-time leader who had a 69-bout streak from 1936-1939 when a yearly two-tournament system was still in place.

Gunning for his fourth consecutive undefeated title (16th overall), Hakuho would be just seven wins short of Futabayama’s record at the start Kyushu meet in November. Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu is one off the pace at 9-1.

Kotooshu made short work of relegation-threatened Kaio (5-5), sending his rival sprawling with an overarm throw immediately after the face-off, despite Kaio being roared on by a partisan crowd.

In other ozeki bouts of note, ozeki Harumafuji (6-4) bounced back from a three-day losing streak, grabbing compatriot Tokusegawa (3-7) by the throat to send him fleeing over the ridge in a matter of seconds.

Estonian Baruto (8-2) got both hands on Mongolian Kyokutenho’s (2-8) belt and lifted the No. 3 maegashira out in one swift motion with an impressive “tsuridashi” maneuver.

Sekiwake Aran (4-6) absorbed a fierce charge from Homasho (3-7) before blasting his second-ranked opponent over the straw bales with a barrage of shoves to the chest.