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Hakuho claims title, suffers second defeat

Kyodo

Harumafuji burst Hakuho’s bubble and claimed yokozuna bragging rights with a surprisingly easy win on the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Hakuho, who secured his 26th Emperor’s Cup with two days to spare, saw his 43-match unbeaten streak ended by Kisenosato on Saturday and was unable to bounce back to finish the 15-day meet on a triumphant note.

Hakuho (13-2) suffered an injury to his abdomen on Thursday, and looked a pale shadow of the wrestler who, for the most part, cruised through his first 13 matches as Harumafuji comfortably barged him out to finish 10-5.

“I got better as the tournament progressed and although I got injured I am happy I won the championship,” said Hakuho, who won his first Nagoya Basho title in three years.

“I was a bit worried I wouldn’t win the Nagoya title again when I got injured, but I went to the hospital and there were no broken bones so I just tried to get on with the job.”

In the two matchups between ozeki wrestlers, Kakuryu (10-5) tipped Kotooshu (9-6) with an overarm throw and Kotoshogiku (9-6) outmuscled Kisenosato (11-4).

Kisenosato started the tournament with hopes of promotion to yokozuna but had his quest quashed with three early defeats

Brazilian No. 12 maegashira Kaisei can expect a big move up the rankings for the Autumn Basho after finishing 11-4.

Top-ranked maegashira Takayasu, who sent Harumafuji to his first defeat of the tournament and also upset two ozeki, won his first Outstanding Performance Prize.

Takayasu closed with a 9-6 mark after forcing out third-ranked Chiyotairyu (7-8).

“I’m glad my efforts have been recognized,” said Takayasu.

Makuuchi debutant Tokushoryu (9-6) missed out on double-digit wins that would have earned him the Fighting Spirit Prize. No Technique Prize was awarded.