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Hakuho flattens Aran to kick off second week

Kyodo

Hakuho kicked off the second week of action with another swashbuckling win to keep his unblemished record intact, mowing down Russian Aran at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

The yokozuna, who inched closer in his bid for his 25th career title, is in a three-way tie for the lead at 8-0 with ozeki duo Kisenosato and Kakuryu. Harumafuji, sumo’s other head honcho, remained two off the pace after a demolition of Toyonoshima.

In the day’s penultimate bout, Hakuho got the leverage with his left after a fight for hand position and dumped Aran (3-5) over the ridge in front of a full house at Ryogoku Kokugikan. It is the 27th tournament that Hakuho has notched a majority of wins in the first eight days — an all-time record.

He improved to 12-0 against Aran and posted his 464th win as a yokozuna to sit alone in sumo’s pantheon in fifth. A championship victory here would tie Hakuho with retired yokozuna Asashoryu for third on the all-time list. Sumo legends Taiho (32) and Chiyonofuji (31) are first and second, respectively.

Hakuho won the spring meet with a 15-0 mark, surpassing deceased wrestlers Futabayama and Taiho with his ninth “zensho yusho,” or championship without a single loss.

Harumafuji, who is trying to rebound from a 9-6 showing in the spring, flattened Toyonoshima (4-4) with a high-powered charge that sent the No. 4 maegashira tumbling into the front-row seats.

In another premier bout, Kisenosato went on full throttle against Goeido (5-3), bulldozing the sekiwake over the edge after getting his left arm under his opponent’s armpit.