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Tochinoshin stays perfect at Summer Basho

Kyodo

Sekiwake Tochinoshin retained his lead and a perfect record with an easy victory over No. 3 maegashira Daieisho on Monday, the ninth day of the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Tochinoshin, who could be promoted to sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki with 10 wins here, once again showcased his brute strength in a one-sided win against Daieisho (2-7) at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The Georgian grabbed onto his opponent’s belt with both hands, lifted the 162-kg maegashira clear off his feet and pushed him out of the ring. Tochinoshin, who won his first makuuchi division championship in January, improved his career record against Daieisho to 3-1.

Yokozuna Kakuryu and Hakuho, along with No. 11 maegashira Chiyonokuni, had convincing wins and remain one back of the sekiwake with eight victories each.

In the day’s final bout, Kakuryu, who is aiming for his first back-to-back championship, defeated Shodai (6-3) in seconds after steamrolling the No. 4 maegashira straight from the ring.

Hakuho, who missed the March tourney due to injury, took down No. 5 Kotoshogiku (6-3) and improved to 8-1 since suffering a shock defeat three days ago to No. 2 Abi.

The Mongolian yokozuna, eyeing his 41st championship title, bulldozed Kotoshogiku toward the edge. After his opponent gained a few feet back, the grand champion executed a textbook overarm throw to stay in contention.

Hakuho will wrestle komusubi Endo (3-4-2) in Tuesday’s final bout. The fan-favorite Endo will make his return to the raised ring after pulling out due to a right-arm injury on Saturday.

Chiyonokuni (8-1) secured a winning record at the meet after beating No. 14 Takekaze (4-5). Chiyonokuni took control by slapping his opponent’s face with his left hand while pushing Takekaze’s chest with his right, forcing Takekaze to hop out of the ring.

The 27-year-old Chiyonokuni posted his first winning record since September 2017, when he fought as the No. 7 maegashira.

“I told myself not to concentrate too much on winning or losing, and just do my best,” the Kokonoe stable wrestler said. “I’m really glad.”

Sekiwake Ichinojo (5-4) snapped his four-match losing streak with a default win over ozeki Goeido (3-6), who pulled out from the meet earlier in the day with left-ankle trouble.

Goeido joins fellow ozeki Takayasu and yokozuna Kisenosato on the casualty list here. It is the first time two ozeki have withdrawn from a tournament since the sport went to 15-day meets in 1949.