Hakuho alone on top after Asashoryu loses

Kyodo News

Mongolian ozeki Hakuho ratcheted up another convincing win to remain undefeated, but yokozuna Asashoryu fell to a shock first defeat at the hands of Aminishiki at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

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Hakuho took sole possession of the lead at 10-0, shooting down rank-and-filer Tochiozan to take a big step forward in his bid for yokozuna promotion with just five days remaining at the 15-day meet.

Hakuho put Tochiozan in an armlock right after the face-off before slamming the No. 4 maegashira to the dohyo surface at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. Tochiozan slipped to 4-6.

The ozeki, who is known for his trademark left-hand frontal gripping technique, has added to his arsenal with a fierce thrusting attack as of late.

He beat Asashoryu in a playoff in the spring and a title win here would ensure his promotion to yokozuna.

Meanwhile, Asashoryu, who is seeking his 21st Emperor’s Cup, backpedaled immediately after the faceoff before he was sent sprawling over the side by the No. 4 maegashira, who picked up his seventh win against three losses.

Asashoryu is one off the pace with three other wrestlers.

In an all-ozeki battle, Chiyotaikai hit Kaio with his rapid-fire thrusting attack before dumping his rival to the dirt with a slap to the back of the head, posting the eight wins necessary to maintain his rank.

Kaio slipped to his second defeat.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (7-3), meanwhile, fell to the dirt at the hands of Ama (5-5), who deployed an overarm technique after jumping to the side with a “henka” maneuver.