FUKUOKA – Mongolian grand champion Hakuho handily disposed of Georgian Tochinoshin to extend his seemingly interminable winning streak to 63 at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
The lone yokozuna, who is seeking his 17th Emperor’s Cup and fifth consecutive undefeated title, opened his latest campaign in convincing fashion to move within six wins of the legendary Futabayama’s all-time mark set from 1936-1939.
His 63rd straight win since the penultimate day of the New Year meet in January also tied him with ancient wrestler Tanikaze from the Edo period (1603-1868). He faces Kisenosato on Monday.
In the day’s final bout, Hakuho kept his cool even though Tochinoshin got a quick belt grip, wiggling out before dumping the komusubi forward to the dohyo surface with his left hand. Tochinoshin dropped to a 0-7 mark against the yokozuna.
Meanwhile, it was a day of contrasting fortunes for sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki with both veteran Kaio and Harumafuji biting the dust in their respective matches.
Local favorite Kaio could not answer the fervent calls of his fans against Aminishiki, who used a textbook frontal force out against the Tomozuna stable wrestler as the crowd unleashed a collective sigh of disappointment.
Mongolian Harumafuji, who was unable to train before the tournament after dislocating his left shoulder, was sent sprawling with an armlock administered by Kotoshogiku.
Estonian Baruto jumped sideways at the face-off against Kisenosato, moving his right hand in position for a firm belt grip before heaving the top-ranked maegashira over the edge.
Bulgarian Kotooshu got both hands wrapped around Russian Aran at the charge and swept the komusubi over the ridge in a matter of seconds for a comfortable win.
In another key bout, Mongolian Kakuryu sent Homasho packing over the edge with a series of hard thrusts to the chest to start the sekiwake off in the winner’s circle.
Tochiozan read Mongolian Asasekiryu like a book after the No. 2 maegashira tried an ill-advised “henka” sidestep maneuver but was abruptly sent to the dirt with a thrust down technique.