OSAKA – Hakuho celebrated his 28th birthday with a pummeling of Takayasu and Harumafuji waylaid Georgian Tochinoshin as the yokozuna pair picked up their second wins of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
On the second anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Hakuho was in top form as he made short work of Takayasu with an iron-clad frontal force-out to improve to 2-0 at Bodymaker Colosseum.
Meanwhile Harumafuji (2-0), who won his third championship in four meets with a perfect 15-0 mark at the New Year basho in January, never gave Tochinoshin a prayer, ripping into his opponent at the initial charge and ramming him out into the ringside seats.
With the force from the yokozuna livewire, Tochinoshin (0-2) accidently kicked over a bucket of drinking water and the purification salt used in the pre-bout ritual.
Hakuho is aiming to dethrone Harumafuji from the prestigious east position with a fourth consecutive spring title. A 24th Emperor’s Cup would put him fourth on the all-time list alongside Kitanoumi.
The ozeki trio of Kisenosato, Kotoshogiku and Kotooshu fell like dominoes to their first defeats.
Myogiryu beat Kisenosato at the tachiai with a lightning quick strike and bulldozed his man in a lopsided affair to earn his first win.
Kotoshogiku was the second of sumo’s second-highest rank to taste defeat when he was dragged down by Chiyotairyu (1-1) almost immediately after the initial charge.
Bulgarian Kotooshu was toppled by komusubi Tochiozan (1-1), who deployed an overarm throw to send the bigger man sprawling to the dirt.
Mongolian Kakuryu (2-0) uncorked a salvo of slaps and thrusts against Aminishiki (0-2) to send the komusubi backpedaling over the ridge to emerge the lone ozeki winner.
Estonian sekiwake Baruto (2-0), who is looking for a fresh start after failing in his bid to regain his ozeki status with a barely passable 8-7 mark in January, dumped Tokitenku (0-2) over the edge after getting a hand on the back of the mawashi.
In a battle of Osaka native wrestlers, Goeido (2-0) emerged the winner against Ikioi (0-2) when he kept a low center of gravity as he got his left hand on the outside of the mawashi for a migi-yotsu before thwarting his opponent over the edge.
In an early bout, Fujiazuma appeared to have the upper hand when he shoved veteran Kyokutenho (1-1) back to the edge from the front but inadvertently stepped over the straw bales, sending him to his first loss.