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Baruto dominates in victory over Myogiryu

Kyodo

Baruto dropped the sledgehammer on rank-and-filer Myogiryu in another blitzkrieg Tuesday, continuing his brilliant form on the third day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Baruto, who won the New Year meet in January and is making a bid at promotion to yokozuna, sits in a group of eight wrestlers sharing the lead, including lone yokozuna Hakuho, in the early going at 3-0.

The Estonian behemoth got his left hand around Myogiryu’s (0-3) mawashi before ejecting him off the raised ring with a hard right hand, causing his opponent to kick over the basket of salt used for purification rites in the process at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

In the day’s final, Hakuho got his left hand on the belt of Tochinowaka (1-2) and his right under his opponent’s armpit before sending the No. 1 maegashira sprawling with his trademark overarm throw.

Also Tuesday, sumo’s first-ever wrestler of African descent marked his debut with a resounding victory.

Egyptian Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan made his long-awaited appearance at the Osaka meet as an unofficially ranked wrestler, becoming the first from his homeland to grace the dohyo.

The 20-year-old Shaalan, whose ring name is Osunaarashi, or “Great Sandstorm,” defeated 18-year-old Yuya Fukuzato.

“I was really excited,” said Shaalan, who belongs to the Otake stable.