FUKUOKA – Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho showed no mercy as he ripped through Kitataiki to remain among the front-runners at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
On the day he would have matched the all-time wins streak of 69 by legendary yokozuna Futabayama had he not lost to Kisenosato on Monday, Hakuho unleashed his fury on Kitataiki in the day’s finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
The lone yokozuna, who has turned his attention to winning his 17th career title, got his left hand on the No. 3 maegashira’s mawashi immediately after the face-off and pulled him to the side before causing his opponent to step over the edge with a hard shove from the rear. Kitataiki slipped to 3-4.
Ozeki pair Kaio and Baruto are among the seven who lead at 6-1 with the lone yokozuna as the first week of the 15-day basho draws to a close.
In other key bouts, Estonian big-man Baruto wasted little time with Tochiozan, getting his left hand on the sekiwake’s mawashi before heaving him over the straw bales to remain in the leading pack.
Tochiozan, who is hoping to jump-start a bid at ozeki at the New Year meet in January with double-digit wins, slipped to a 4-3 mark.
Bulgarian Kotooshu (4-3) enveloped Hakuba (1-6) with his huge arms, the ozeki twisting the No. 4 maegashira over in a lopsided affair.
Kaio raised the roof for the sell-out crowd, once again coming through in front of his hometown fans with a textbook frontal takeout maneuver of Asasekiryu (1-6).
Kisenosato (5-2) wrapped both hands around Kakuryu (4-3) at the charge and bulldozed the Mongolian sekiwake out in a matter of seconds.