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Hakuho triumphs again

Kyodo

Yokozuna Hakuho dispensed with rank-and-file Ikioi with minimal fuss to improve to 3-0 at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

There were no major upsets on the third day of action with all of the top-ranked wrestlers seeing off their respective opponents in comfortable fashion, while ozeki Kisenosato rebounded from the previous day’s loss at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Sumo’s three yokozuna and relegation-threatened Kotoshogiku are among eight undefeated wrestlers, thus far.

In the day’s penultimate bout, Hakuho absorbed the challenge from the top-ranked maegashira, who attempted to charge forward once his hand was on the back of the yokozuna’s mawashi. But with nerves of steel, Hakuho switched hand positions before knocking his opponent down with a left-handed overarm technique.

Harumafuji took his time and looked for an opening before smacking down winless Shohozan with a “hatakikomi” technique, while Kakuryu got a solid left-handed grip on the front of Kaisei’s (0-3) mawashi before driving the Brazilian wrestler over the ridge.

Kisenosato dominated Egyptian-born Osunaarashi, who was more bark than bite.

Osunaarashi (1-2) slammed Kisenosato with a forearm to the cheek, but it wasn’t enough to derail the ozeki as he proceeded to get both arms on the back of his opponent’s mawashi and usher the No. 3 maegashira out.

Kisenosato was left with a swollen jaw in his match against the first wrestler from the African continent.

Kotoshogiku, who must post eight wins to retain his ozeki status, sent winless Aoiyama sprawling right after the tachiai with a “hikiotoshi” pull-down technique.

Early on, Endo, whose popularity continues to skyrocket despite his struggles in the raised ring, got into the winner’s column on the third day after absorbing a fierce charge from Tamawashi (1-2), getting his left arm firmly wrapped around the mawashi for a textbook frontal force out.

Endo has failed to make the grade with losing records of 6-9 and 7-8 in his previous two meets as he was repelled by the top-ranked wrestlers in the elite division.