OSAKA – Kakuryu got his yokozuna bid back on track after the previous day’s defeat with a comfortable win against former ozeki Kotooshu at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.
Yokozuna Hakuho and Harumafuji, meanwhile, were in demolition mode to feature among five wrestlers, including ozeki Kisenosato, sekiwake Goeido and rank-and filer Osunaarashi, in the lead at 4-0.
Kakuryu, who is tasked with winning the tournament with at least 13 wins, deposited Kotooshu (1-3) over the straw bales after grappling the Bulgarian around the waist to move into a logjam of 12 rikishi one off the pace.
In the day’s penultimate bout at Bodymaker Colosseum, Hakuho gave Okinoumi (2-2) no chance, improving to 12-0 in career bouts against the No. 2 maegashira.
The yokozuna swiftly put his left hand on the mawashi before getting his right around his opponent’s shoulder and showing him the exit in textbook fashion.
Rival yokozuna Harumafuji was equally dominant against underclassman Tochinowaka (1-3) in the final bout, pounding his opponent back once before wrapping both arms around and upending the No. 2 maegashira over the edge by yorikiri.
Kisenosato moved a step closer to the eight wins he needs to remain at ozeki, beating Tamawashi (0-4) after one fierce charge, when his opponent inadvertently stepped over the edge.
Goeido administered an arm-bar technique against winless Shohozan.
No. 1 maegashira Endo, who has reached the highest rank of his budding career, is having a rough time of it in his fourth appearance in the top flight. He suffered his fourth loss in a row after being escorted out by ozeki Kotoshogiku (3-1).
The 23-year-old is facing all the top wrestlers this week. He lost to Kakuryu on the opening day, has been thrashed around by both yokozuna, and is up against Kisenosato on Thursday.
No. 11 maegashira Osunaarashi finally beat Gagamaru (1-3) in their third career bout, walloping Georgia’s man mountain with an elbow to the head before stealthily dragging his opponent down by the mawashi when the bigger man charged forward.
Sumo’s first Egyptian-born rikishi is steadily coming into his own in just his third appearance in the elite makuuchi division.
Chiyomaru and his younger brother Chiyootori both picked up their third wins, defeating Kagamio (1-3) and Toyohibiki (0-4), respectively, in early bouts.