FUKUOKA – It’s all even with eight wrestlers in a logjam for a share of the lead after the sixth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
Hakuho is lurking as the red-hot favorite to cart home his 17th Emperor’s Cup as he tries to reconcile the disappointment of failing to surpass the all-time wins streak of 69 bouts held by legendary Futabayama in 1936-39.
Although Homasho has been in excellent form, bumping off the ozeki pair of Kotooshu and Baruto, he was no match for the Mongolian yokozuna in the final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
After a quick slap to the head with his right hand, Hakuho swatted the No. 3 maegashira with his left to improve to a 5-1 mark at the 15-day meet. Homasho dropped to 4-2.
Local favorite Kaio and fellow ozeki Baruto are among the eight coleaders as the first week winds down in Kyushu. Nine wrestlers are one off the pace at 4-2.
Bulgarian Kotooshu (3-3) snapped a two-day skid, toppling Kitataiki (3-3) over the edge after charging full-throttle against the No. 3 maegashira.