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Two-man hunt for title

Kyodo

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and Harumafuji remained on a championship collision course Wednesday as the unbeaten co-leaders both scored their 11th wins at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho brought the day’s action to a close at Fukuoka Kokusai Center with an imperious performance against Tochiozan, sending out the sekiwake with a neck thrust before making sure of victory with another devastating blow. Tochiozan dropped to 4-7.

Hakuho, who is gunning for his 28th Emperor’s Cup, and Harumafuji are two wins ahead of ozeki Kisenosato and Kakuryu and No. 6 maegashira Chiyotairyu.

In the preceding bout, Harumafuji took out Goeido (6-5) with a textbook “hatakikomi” technique, knocking the sekiwake back with a pair of meaty shoves and slapping him down to the clay.

Kakuryu rammed out Homasho (2-9) after twice failing to pull the No. 4 maegashira down by the back of the neck, while Kisenosato was made to work hard for his ninth win by fifth-ranked Aoiyama (7-4), weathering a spirited attack from the Bulgarian before knocking him off balance and over the straw ridge.

Sixth-ranked Chiyotairyu thrust out Takekaze (5-6) to stay among the chasing trio.

Earlier in the day, 11th-ranked maegashira Masunoyama pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury sustained in a ninth-day defeat to Chiyotairyu.

Masunoyama had a 6-5 record after losing Wednesday’s scheduled bout with fifth-ranked Kaisei (6-5).