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Hakuho, Goeido still locked for lead

Kyodo

Yokozuna Hakuho kicked off the second week of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday like he did the first — dominantly, and at the top of the food chain.

But it was sekiwake Goeido who raised the roof at a packed Fukuoka Kokusai Center, remaining in a share of the lead with Hakuho with a perfect 8-0 mark. Yokozuna debutant Harumafuji trailed the co-leaders among a trio at 7-1.

Hakuho, who is aiming to end a title drought of three meets, pulverized little man Takekaze (2-6) in the day’s penultimate bout, sending his opponent reeling over the raised ring with a violent barrage of thrusts.

Goeido wiggled inside to get his right hand firmly on the mawashi of Okinoumi before dumping him into the ringside seats with an overarm throw.

It’s the first time Goeido, who faces Harumafuji on Monday, has won eight straight from the opening day.

Harumafuji, who is in the chase for his third consecutive title after winning the two previous meets undefeated, was in no mood for games as he manhandled ozeki Kotooshu to win the day’s final bout with a powerful uwatenage.

Kotooshu, who needs eight wins to stay at sumo’s second-highest rank, slipped to 5-3.

In an all-ozeki matchup, Kisenosato (6-2) emerged the winner over demotion-threatened Kotoshogiku (5-3) when his rival attempted to change grips while the pair tussled for leverage and was abruptly upended over the straw bales.

Kakuryu (5-3) was shown the exit by Tochiozan (5-3), who charged like a bull from the tachiai to get the win over the Izutsu ozeki.

Shohozan gave Aminishiki (1-7) a beating, grabbing his opponent’s throat before pounding him over the ridge with a salvo of slaps to notch his fifth win.

Brazilian wrestler Kaisei finally saw daybreak, picking up his first win when Georgian Tochinoshin (1-7) inadvertently stepped over the barrier at full throttle.