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Hakuho, Kisenosato move clear of Kakuryu

Kyodo

Yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato retained their perfect records through the ninth day at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Ozeki Kakuryu trails at 8-1 after suffering his first defeat of the tournament, while yokozuna Harumafuji, ozeki Kotoshogiku and eighth-ranked maegashira Tokitenku follow at 7-2.

Hakuho couldn’t have had an easier day in the office against fourth-ranked Aoiyama, who clumsily slipped on his initial charge to his fourth defeat at the tachiai.

Hakuho on Tuesday faces sekiwake Goeido, against whom he has 18 wins in 19 career bouts.

Toyonoshima (4-4) tried to keep it interesting against Kisenosato but was no match for the ozeki, who kept his cool to usher the No. 4 maegashira out of the ring.

Kisenosato, set to face relegation-threatened ozeki Kotooshu on Tuesday, is attempting to become the first Japanese wrestler in almost seven years to lift the Emperor’s Cup.

Kakuryu took a step back in the championship race, coming out on the losing end in a battle of ozeki against Kotoshogiku.

Kakuryu slammed hard into his opponent from the tachiai, but failed to do much more as the Izutsu wrestler was quickly pushed back to the straw bales and over for his 15th loss in 26 career meetings against Kotoshogiku.

Harumafuji hooked Goeido (5-4) with his left arm before tossing the sekiwake to defeat in a whirlwind.

Tokitenku kept his outside shot at a title alive with victory over the 15th-ranked Chiyonokuni by hatakikomi, and Kotooshu (6-3) beat No. 2 Kitataiki by sukuinage, moving within two wins of retaining his ozeki rank.