/

Hakuho makes winning start at autumn basho

Kyodo

Hakuho kick-started his campaign for a 27th career title with a routine win over Takayasu on Sunday, the opening day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Seeking a fourth consecutive Emperor’s Cup after a 13-2 showing in July in Nagoya, the Mongolian yokozuna was all business in the day’s last bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, sending his komusubi opponent packing in clinical fashion for a yorikiri force-out victory.

Fellow yokozuna Harumafuji also opened with a win on a day free of major upsets, bulldozing komusubi Tochiozan out of the dohyo with minimal fuss.

Looking short on confidence in recent meets, Harumafuji picked up where he left off after bursting Hakuho’s bubble with a surprisingly easy win on the final day of the Nagoya meet.

He will be looking to prove his worth after another mediocre 10-5 showing in Nagoya.

At ozeki, Kisenosato, back at square one after his bid to join Hakuho and Harumafuji at sumo’s top rank ended in failure after three early losses in Nagoya, completed a clean sweep for ozeki by muscling out top-ranked maegashira Shohozan.

Kotooshu claimed Bulgarian bragging rights after a series of head clashes against Aoiyama, and Kotoshogiku followed up with an equally commanding arm-barring force-out win over second-ranked Okinoumi.

Kakuryu finished off top-ranked Ikioi after a flurry of two-handed shoves and thrusts.

Goeido took out fourth-ranked Chiyotairyu and Myogiryu completed a winning opening-day double for sumo’s third-highest rank of sekiwake when he muscled out third-ranked Takarafuji.

In an earlier bout, last year’s amateur champion Endo was given a rousing reception as he took to the raised ring, but he made a losing start on his debut in the top flight after being flattened by 13th-ranked Homasho.

Endo has entered the makuuchi division after just three tournaments since making his debut, the fastest rise to the top flight since the start of the Showa Era.