NAGOYA – Yokozuna Hakuho plowed over ozeki Kotooshu and Harumafuji smacked the daylights out of fellow ozeki Kisenosato to remain undefeated Wednesday, putting space between them and their nearest challengers at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho, seeking his 23rd career title, and Harumafuji improved to 11-0 records, two wins ahead of ozeki Kotoshogiku and rank-and-filer Kaisei with four days remaining in Nagoya. Four wrestlers, including Kisenosato and ozeki Baruto, are 8-3.
In the day’s finale, Hakuho got his left hand around for an outside grip on his opponent’s mawashi while charging full throttle with his right arm over Kotooshu’s (7-4) shoulder to win by frontal force out at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
The lone yokozuna is aiming for his first Emperor’s Cup in two meets.
Harumafuji, who held a record of 23-14 in previous match-ups against his rival, was in no mood for games on this day as he uncorked three vicious smacks to Kisenosato’s face while the pair struggled for hand position.
Harumafuji’s blows obviously fazed Kisenosato and he quickly moved in for a violent frontal takeout. Harumafuji, who won this tournament last year, faces ozeki Kakuryu on Thursday.
Estonian ozeki Baruto snapped a three-day skid, escaping the clutches of Kakuryu (6-5) with a change of grips and heaving the Mongolian ozeki over the edge in dramatic fashion.
Kotoshogiku posted the easiest win imaginable when Myogiryu (6-5) touched his hand to the dirt surface after his opponent’s right leg slipped out from underneath him coming off the tachiai.
Brazilian-born Kaisei took a step back in the title race, suffering his second defeat, when he crumbled down from the side while attempting an overarm throw against Goeido (6-5).
In the day’s opening bout in the top division, Czech wrestler Takanoyama tugged Tamawashi’s (2-9) arm to get his opponent off-balance before upending him with a thrusting attack to stay on the bubble at 4-7.