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Hakuho moves closer to second 40-win streak

Kyodo

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho easily maintained his lead on Monday, the ninth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Hakuho holds a one-win led over ozeki Kotooshu and No. 12 maegashira Kaisei.

In the day’s final match, Hakuho consigned sekiwake Goeido to his seventh defeat. The yokozuna absorbed his opponent’s charge, seized a belt hold and spun him out of the ring in a pulling overarm throw.

Yokozuna Harumafuji suffered a disappointing third defeat at the hands of sekiwake Myogiryu, who improved to 5-4. Myogiryu kept his distance from the pint-sized yokozuna, who repeatedly lunged at his opponent to no avail.

After a brief stalemate in which the two men sized each other up from a distance, Harumafuji lured Myogiru into an off-balance lunge. When the sekiwaki came on, Harumafuji tried in vain to slap him down and instead found himself easy prey to be pushed out of the ring.

Hakuho, who won the last two tournaments with spotless 15-0 records, ran his current winning streak to 39 consecutive bouts. A win on Tuesday against Myogiryu will make Hakuho the first wrestler since the start of the Showa Era with two 40-win streaks in his career.

Kotooshu ably resisted Chiyotairyu’s charge, expertly planted a right hand on the maegashira’s belt, spun him around, and forced him out of the ring. Chiyotairyu fell to 6-3.

In an all-ozeki clash, Kotoshogiku (6-3) was unable to counter Kakuryu’s speed and balance and found himself sliding backward across the sandy surface and tipped over the bales to his third defeat. Kakuryu improved to 7-2.

Kisenosato, whose chances of promotion to yokozuna were virtually doomed when he suffered his third defeat on Saturday, responded to the chants from the crowd by defeating No. 3 maegashira Aminishiki on the second try.

In their first try, the ozeki was judged the winner despite being flung out of the ring after a super effort from Aminishiki, but that decision was overruled and declared a draw. The rematch proved an anticlimax as Kisenosato took control from the initial charge and shoved his opponent out with a minimum of fuss. Aminishiki fell to 2-7.

Brazilian-born Kaisei stayed in the hunt with a frontal push-out victory over veteran Wakanosato, who fell to 4-5.