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Kisenosato suffers third loss; Hakuho, Harumafuji roll on

Kyodo

Yokozuna Kisenosato succumbed to his third loss at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday while Mongolian grand champions Hakuho and Harumafuji secured their ninth straight wins at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kisenosato’s hope of a third straight championship was dealt a severe blow by Tochiozan (5-4). The yokozuna’s slap off the initial charge did not deter the fourth-ranked maegashira, who easily put his head to Kisenosato’s chest and bulldozed him over the ridge in a surprisingly one-sided bout.

“I was in good shape off the charge. I wasn’t expecting (Kisenosato’s) slap but I kept my footing and felt there was a chance,” said Tochiozan, who secured his 15th win in 40 bouts against his fellow 30-year-old.

There was no such slipup from Hakuho as he improved to 18-1 against No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama (2-7). The Bulgarian grabbed the belt with his left arm but the yokozuna timed his pulling overarm throw to perfection, getting him off balance with the first attempt before flooring him with another swivel.

Harumafuji also notched up another win but was given a much sterner test by sekiwake Tamawashi (6-3) as he left limping on his way out.

The yokozuna came off second best after charging low and lost balance but just about dodged a following barge, leaving his fellow countryman teetering on the edge before going all out to wrestle him off the raised ring.

Sekiwake Takayasu (8-1) secured a winning record and is now two wins away from of the required mark for promotion to ozeki — 33 wins over three tourneys — after weathering out relentless thrusts from Chiyonokuni (2-7) before swiveling the top-ranked maegashira with an overarm throw.

“I was on the back foot but I persevered until I got myself into the right position,” said Takayasu, who will face Hakuho on Tuesday. “I’ll just keep chasing the leaders and try to win the tournament, giving all I have just as I have since day one.”

Mongolian Terunofuji (7-2) won the battle of ozeki after getting a firm hold of the belt with his left all the way through in a force-out win over Goeido (5-4). After a losing record in March, Goeido needs a winning record or will face demotion from sumo’s second-highest rank.

No. 5 rank-and-filer Shodai and the two No. 10 maegashira — Ura and Georgian Tochinoshin — are all level with Terunofuji with two losses.