Harumafuji suffers second-day loss


Yokozuna Harumafuji suffered a setback on the second day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, falling to No. 1 maegashira Shohozan.

Harumafuji, looking to add to his Kyushu basho title in November, was overturned at the edge of the ring. The Mongolian barged into his counterpart after the initial crash, but Shohozan, who was 12-3 in his native Fukuoka in November, was able to pivot and floor the yokozuna with a beltless arm throw.

“The yokozuna is quick at tachiai so I was determined to step in strongly,” said Shohozan (1-1), who won for the second time against Harumafuji in 13 bouts. “I don’t remember too well (about the throw) but I’ve made a good start to the year winning this.”

Record title holder Hakuho (2-0), who survived a scare on the opening day against komusubi Ikioi, easily dispatched No. 1 maegashira Aminishiki (1-1). The 37-year-old veteran got the better of ozeki Kisenosato on Sunday, but was asking for trouble when he failed to slap down the yokozuna and easily was backed out the ring in seconds.

The third Mongolian yokozuna, Kakuryu (2-0), looked less convincing as he was pushed to the straw bales by Takarafuji (0-2). But the No. 2 maegashira fluffed his lines, and allowed Kakuryu to recover.

All three Japanese ozeki looked solid on the day. Kotoshogiku (2-0) slapped the face of komusubi Ikioi (0-2) off the tachiai to put his left arm around before executing a beltless arm throw, while Goeido (2-0), nursing his sore right wrist, slammed in low against Ichinojo (0-2) and pushed the Mongolian No. 3 maegashira straight off the ring.

Kisenosato (1-1), the only first-day loser on Sunday among yokozuna and ozeki, had little trouble pushing out sekiwake Tochiozan (1-1). New 33-year-old sekiwake Yoshikaze (1-1) also claimed his first victory with a force-out against Bulgarian No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama (0-2).

Ozeki Terunofuji (2-0) got his left hand firmly on the front of Tochinoshin’s belt and forced the komusubi out to his second defeat.