Yokozuna Hakuho scuttled rank-and-filer Shohozan’s aspirations of another giant kill with one fatal shot to remain undefeated after three days at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
Harumafuji (2-1), meanwhile, got back on the winning track after suffering a loss to Shohozan the previous day, rattling winless Ikioi in a hail of thrusts and slaps in the day’s penultimate match at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hakuho was never in trouble against Shohozan (1-2) in the day’s final bout, absorbing the feisty top-ranked maegashira’s initial charge before knocking his opponent’s feet from underneath him with a hard shove to the midsection.
Hakuho is gunning for his 27th career title, a feat that will move him within four championships of the hallowed mark of 31 held by yokozuna great Chiyonofuji. The Mongolian-born yokozuna is tied for the early lead with six wrestlers, including the ozeki trio of Kakuryu, Kotooshu and Kotoshogiku.
Kisenosato, who saw his bid for yokozuna blow up in smoke with three early defeats at the Nagoya basho in July, became the first at sumo’s second-highest rank to bite the dust as he was escorted over the ridge by Okinoumi, who improved to 2-1.