FUKUOKA – Yokozuna Hakuho continued his one-man wrecking machine Tuesday, handing out a beating to sekiwake Goeido to remain undefeated as the sole leader on the 10th day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho improved to 10-0 while his yokozuna rival Harumafuji tossed aside Toyonoshima to stay hot in the title race at 9-1. Goeido, Toyonoshima, a former sekiwake, and No. 15 maegashira Chiyotairyu are two off the pace at 8-2.
Goeido had won only once in 16 meetings against the yokozuna, beating him for the first time at the Summer Basho in May, and Hakuho, who is seeking his first title since the Spring Basho in March, was never about to lose in the day’s penultimate bout.
He slapped Goeido with a right to the cheek and mashed him with another left to the face before pulling him off balance with his right hand. Hakuho will fight Kotooshu on the 11th day.
In the day’s finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Harumafuji never gave Toyonoshima a glance when he quickly got his right hand deep inside on the mawashi as his opponent attempted to fend off the attack with a neck throw, only to be slammed to the dohyo surface with an underarm technique.
Harumafuji faces Kotoshogiku on Wednesday.
Ozeki Kakuryu (7-3) walloped Takekaze, smacking down his opponent to an eighth defeat immediately out of the blocks.
Demotion-threatened Kotoshogiku took another step back in his bid to save his rank, when he was pulled down by the feisty Masunoyama (5-5), who got his first win against an ozeki in his first match versus sumo’s second-highest rank. Kotoshogiku is at 6-4 and still needs two more wins to remain at ozeki.
Bulgarian Kotooshu, another wrestler battling to keep his rank, easily got both hands wrapped around ozeki Kisenosato (7-3) before tackling his rival over the edge to move within a win of retaining his ozeki status.
Okinoumi (2-8) became the seventh wrestler in the top two divisions to withdraw from the 15-day meet due to injury when he pulled out with a broken toe on his right foot. The top-ranked maegashira forfeited his match against Tochiozan, who improved to 7-3.