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Kisenosato pulls ahead of pack

Kyodo

Kisenosato defeated ozeki rival Kotooshu to grab sole possession of the lead, moving a step closer toward his first career title at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Kisenosato, who aims to become the first Japanese wrestler in more than six years to cart home the Emperor’s Cup, moved to 9-1 with five days remaining, while three rank-and-filers were one behind at 8-2.

Kotooshu (6-4) failed to get a hold of Kisenosato’s mawashi as his opponent dug deep in his energy reserves to ward him off at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kisenosato laid the pressure on the Bulgarian giant as he got his right hand on the belt for a firm upper grip, tackling Kotooshu over the straw bales to punctuate a relentless attack.

Yokozuna Hakuho, meanwhile, bounced back from three consecutive defeats, manhandling Kakuryu in the day’s finale.