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Kisenosato rebounds from opening defeat

Kyodo

Yokozuna Kisenosato picked up his first win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, avoiding successive defeats by beating second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

A night after being upset by komsubi Yoshikaze (1-1) on the opening day of his second tourney as yokozuna, Kisenosato rebounded with a win to improve his career record to 18-3 over Okinoumi (0-2).

With his left chest and shoulder area taped up as a result of the injury he suffered at the last meet in March, Kisenosato seemed to wince in pain as he broke from the tachiai and tried to reach for the belt with his left arm.

Kisenosato, however, never lost control of the bout as the Tagonoura stable wrestler ushered his opponent beyond the straw bales for the victory.

Kisenosato on Tuesday will face No. 1 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-1), who consigned yokozuna Kakuryu to his second loss in a row in their first career meeting.

Kakuryu lost his balance as he barreled into Chiyonokuni at the start, and the maegashira shoved the Mongolian down to the dirt for his first win of the basho.

It was the first kinboshi of Chiyonokuni’s career.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” Chiyonokuni said. “I went as hard as I could. I’m just thrilled by this. I want to focus on having a good start, take it one match at a time and hopefully have a good tournament.”

The other two yokozuna, Hakuho and Harumafuji, each rolled to their second win in as many days. Hakuho seized a slap-fest against Yoshikaze (1-1), while Harumafuji bulldozed top-ranked Endo (1-1) off the mound with authority.

Kisenosato’s stablemate and sekiwake Takayasu continued to march toward promotion by winning for the second straight day, thrusting ozeki Goeido (1-1) out of the ring without much challenge.

Ozeki Terunofuji remained winless after two days, losing this time at the hands of sekiwake Tamawashi (2-0).