Yokozuna debutant Kakuryu rebounded from a first defeat with a demolition of Takekaze on Thursday to remain one off the pace at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho, who is seeking his 29th career title and first in two meets, is in sole possession of the lead at 5-0. Fellow yokozuna Kakuryu and Harumafuji are in a group of 10 wrestlers one behind at the 15-day tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
In the day’s penultimate bout, Kakuryu, who lost to rising star Endo on Wednesday, unleashed a salvo of thrusts against Takekaze (1-4) before calmly slamming him to the dohyo surface.
Hakuho was taken slightly off his game when winless Takarafuji kept his distance and maneuvered around his opponent, but the yokozuna was too swift and sent the No. 2 maegashira sprawling with a well-timed right-handed thrust-down throw.
Harumafuji wasted little time on Chiyotairyu (1-4) in the day’s finale as he jettisoned the No. 2 maegashira into the ringside seats in a matter of seconds.
Kotoshogiku snapped a two-day losing streak, administering a powerful armlock throw on Yoshikaze (1-4) to improve to 3-2. Fellow ozeki Kisenosato, who slipped to a first defeat at the hands of Bulgarian Aoiyama on Wednesday, came back with a vengeance with a fierce shove out of Aminishiki (4-1).
Popular maegashira Endo (4-1) won his third bout in a row following his yokozuna killing antics the previous day, pulling down Toyonoshima (2-3) with a well-timed “hikiotoshi” technique.
Sekiwake Goeido, who is hoping to make a run at ozeki in the near future, gave Aoiyama (1-4) a quick slap down after sidestepping to the right to pick up his fourth win.
In an early match in the top makuuchi division, Egyptian Osunaarashi (3-2) roughed up Chiyomaru (2-3) with a brutal onslaught of slaps before taking his opponent over in a frontal force out.