Undefeated yokozuna Hakuho dispensed with another would-be challenger in the form of Chiyotairyu to retain sole possession of the lead on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Hakuho was in his usual destruction mode to wrap up the first week of the 15-day basho with a bone-crushing, smack down of No. 3 maegashira Chiyotairyu (2-5) in front of a sell-out crowd in the day’s finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
The Mongolian yokozuna leads with a 7-0 mark while ozeki duo Kisenosato and Kakuryu and Yoshikaze trail at 6-1. Rival yokozuna Harumafuji is in a logjam of nine wrestlers, two off the pace at 5-2.
Hakuho, who has won the previous three tournaments, inched closer to notching his 27th career championship — a feat that would move him within four of yokozuna great Chiyonofuji’s hallowed mark of 31 title victories.
Harumafuji, who was hit with two early defeats and has struggled to remain consistent at the top of sumo’s perch, took easy street with the widely frowned-upon sidestep maneuver to snatch up a win in the day’s final bout against Toyohibiki (4-3).