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Unbeaten Hakuho alone at top

Kyodo

Promotion-chasing ozeki Kisenosato eased past winless No. 2 maegashira Gagamaru to score a morale-boosting victory on Friday, and yokozuna Hakuho put on a clinic to grab sole possession of the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Victory was just the tonic Kisenosato needed after his bid for a move up to yokozuna a day after he suffered a hammer blow with his second defeat of the 15-day meet against Chiyotairyu.

Kisenosato, who belongs to the Naruto stable, had to do little more than flex his muscles in a quick-fire win, hauling down Gagamaru with his left arm to move to 4-2 at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

It was business as usual for Hakuho as the Mongolian stayed perfect and moved into pole position at 6-0 after ozeki pair Kotoshogiku and Kotooshu and Brazilian maegashira Kasei all tasted first defeats.

Hakuho, winner of the last two tournaments, was in total control in the day’s penultimate bout. After a weak charge from Shohozan (1-5), Hakuho drew in the komusubi and thrust him down.

Hakuho is four wins away from becoming the first wrestler since the start of the Showa Era to have two 40-win streaks.

Fellow yokozuna and compatriot Harumafuji also won handsomely, seeing off No. 2 maegashira Tochiozan (3-3) with a perfectly executed overarm throw to sit in a tie for second at 5-1 with four other wrestlers.