NAGOYA – Ozeki Kisenosato demolished Okinoumi and Hakuho tossed aside summer basho winner Kyokutenho on the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
Bulgarian Kotooshu was the lone casualty among the six at sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki.
Kisenosato wasted little time after getting his left hand on the back of his opponent’s mawashi, taking out Okinoumi (0-2) in one fast motion after gaining leverage at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Expectations are high that Kisenosato, who was a major player in the title race at the summer basho in May when he finished 11-4, will become the first Japanese wrestler to win a championship since Tochiazuma achieved the feat at the 2006 New Year tournament.
Hakuho, who had his worst-ever result of 10-5 at sumo’s top rank in May, never was in trouble against countryman Kyokutenho (0-2), getting his left hand on the mawashi before sending the No.1 maegashira down with a beltless arm throw.
Hakuho has never missed out on a title in two consecutive tournaments since he became the lone yokozuna in spring 2010, but whispers of the once dominant wrestler’s decline have begun to swirl.
Mongolian ozeki Kakuryu sent Bulgarian Aoiyama (0-2) packing with a shove-out after a barrage of thrusts, but Kotooshu was sent sprawling to the sandy surface for a first loss when Goeido (1-1) deployed an underarm throw for his first win.
“I knew he would try to keep away from me, so I tried to close the gap between our bodies,” said Goeido.
Estonian goliath Baruto wrapped his huge right hand around Toyonoshima’s (0-2) mawashi and gave the komusubi a hard shove at the edge to improve to 2-0.
Kotoshogiku (2-0) had to work quickly against Aminishiki (0-2), who got both hands under the ozeki’s arms, rallying with a fierce counterattack before propelling his opponent into the ringside seats.
Sekiwake Tochiozan, who lost in a playoff to Kyokutenho at the summer meet, got in the win column by manhandling Wakakoyu, leaving both men at 1-1.
In an early match, Chiyotairyu (2-0), in his second meet in the top flight, twisted down Wakanosato with an overarm throw. Wakanosato, a former sekiwake who turns 36 on Tuesday, slipped to 1-1.
Czech wrestler Takanoyama (0-2) made all the wrong moves against Masunoyama (2-0), trying to go chest to chest with the bigger man before being bulldozed out.
Brazilian-born Kaisei (2-0) improved to 3-0 for his career against Toyohibiki (1-1), quickly moving in with a left hand for a push-out.
Georgian Gagamaru (0-2) let out a primordial scream on his way back to the dressing room after falling to 0-8 for his career against Homasho (2-0).