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Kisenosato trails leaders by two wins

Kyodo

Yokozuna Kisenosato squashed Daieisho to stay within two wins of grand champion rivals Hakuho and Harumafuji at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

In arguably his most convincing win of the meet, Kisenosato quickly wrapped both arms around Daieisho and flattened the winless No. 3 maegashira with an abisetaoshi backward force down technique at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho and Harumafuji both won handsomely and share the lead at the 15-day event with perfect 6-0 records. Promotion-chasing sekiwake Takayasu suffered his first defeat and is in a tie for second place at 5-1 with rank-and-filers Daishomaru and Onosho.

Hakuho, looking like a strong bet for a record-extending 38th career Emperor’s Cup after missing most of the last tournament with injuries, gave No. 1 maegashira Endo (2-4) a sumo lesson.

Hakuho unleashed a barrage of slaps and thrusts that Endo did well to withstand until the Mongolian sent him flying out of the ring with a powerful shove.

Harumafuji wrapped up the day’s action by knocking Bulgarian-born No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama (1-5) off the ridge for a comfortable force-out victory.

Takayasu lost his share of the lead and saw his hopes of a shot at ozeki promotion take a hit with a comprehensive defeat to fellow sekiwake Tamawashi (4-2).

Takayasu needs to win at least five of his last nine bouts to meet the criteria of 33 victories over three tournaments for promotion.