Hakuho gave Ikioi a clinic in the art of the flash finish, but fellow yokozuna Harumafuji hit a stumbling block with his first defeat, at the hands of rank-and-filer Shohozan, on the second day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
Hakuho, who is seeking his 27th career title, gave his opponent a small opening when Ikioi (0-2) was able to get leverage with a better hand grip after the initial charge.
But after Ikioi’s failed attempt at a beltless arm throw, the yokozuna pounced with a lightning-quick overarm throw to end it.
In the day’s finale, Shohozan, who was winless in seven previous meetings against Harumafuji, got a turbo jump at the tachiai and before he knew it had the yokozuna on the ropes.
After jettisoning his opponent from the raised ring for his first “kinboshi,” top-ranked maegashira Shohozan broke down into tears of joy as he exited the arena.
Sumo’s second-highest rank remained unscathed and in a share of the lead along with Hakuho and several others after the first two days in Tokyo, with all four ozeki notching wins.
Kisenosato, who saw his hopes for yokozuna promotion fizzle after suffering three early losses at the Nagoya basho in July, bulldozed Tochiozan (0-2) in a lopsided affair, while fellow ozeki Kotooshu made mincemeat of Takarafuji (0-2).
Kotoshogiku sent Aoiyama (0-2) backpedaling off-balance with a fierce belly charge out of the crouch before toppling the bigger man with a beltless arm technique.
Kakuryu prevailed against Takayasu (0-2), knocking the newly promoted komusubi over the straw bales after the pair engaged in a heated exchange of thrusts and shoves.
A throng of sumo fans were not deterred from coming out to Ryogoku Kokugikan, despite the havoc wrought by Typhoon Man-yi, which ripped through Japan’s main island with torrential rain and strong winds lashing a large portion of the country earlier in the day.
In an early bout, Endo, the 2012 amateur champion, got a warm round of applause for his first career win in the elite makuuchi division after grinding out Sadanofuji (1-1) in a frontal take-out maneuver.