FUKUOKA – Hakuho manhandled Georgian Tochinoshin to stay unbeaten on the seventh day while dark horse Goeido remained neck and neck with the grand champion with another convincing win at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Newly promoted yokozuna Harumafuji, meanwhile, continued to roll with his second-day defeat firmly behind him to headline a quartet tied one off the pace at 6-1.
A full house finally turned out at Fukuoka Kokusai Center heading into the second week of the 15-day meet, and neither Hakuho nor Harumafuji disappointed as the title race heats up for the final week in Kyushu.
Harumafuji, who is seeking his third consecutive title after winning the two previous meets with 15-0 marks, got his left hand on the top of Takekaze’s (2-5) mawashi before dispensing with his opponent with a hard shove at the edge.
In the day’s finale, Hakuho also got his left hand on top of the mawashi and took his time before twisting Tochinoshin (1-6) down to the clay with his trademark overarm throw. Hakuho is aiming for his first title since winning the Spring Basho in March.
Goeido, meanwhile, continued to leave a path a destruction in his wake after grinding out Homasho (1-6) in an energy-draining frontal force out to stay perfect.
Ozeki Kisenosato (5-2) snapped a two-day losing skid, albeit it in bumbling fashion, running out Myogiryu (2-5) after losing his grip several times during the bout.