NAGOYA – Yokozuna Hakuho disposed of Kisenosato in dominant fashion to remain undefeated on the seventh day of action at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
Hakuho absorbed a fierce charge by the sekiwake but never budged before sending his opponent sprawling with a thrusting technique to preserve a share of the lead with yokozuna Asashoryu and ozeki Kotooshu at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Hakuho’s sumo has been rock solid from day one of the 15-day meet and the Mongolian yokozuna appears a safe bet to capture his 11th Emperor’s Cup and first title in two meets.
Asashoryu, who is in the hunt for his 24th career title, smacked around a charging Iwakiyama (2-5) before toppling the No. 3 maegashira with a well-placed shove to the back.
Bulgarian Kotooshu got in position for a powerful left-handed grip on Kyokutenho’s mawashi before grinding out the komusubi in a relentless assault to stay on top.
In another major bout, ozeki Harumafuji, looking his most sure-footed yet, unleashed a turbo blast of shoves against Mongolian compatriot Kakuryu (2-5) to earn a fifth win.
Harumafuji came into the Nagoya meet gunning for promotion to yokozuna, but having already suffered two early losses, he will likely need to win all his remaining bouts and take the title to be given serious consideration for grand champion.
Kotomitsuki, meanwhile, rebounded from a first loss the previous day, pulling Goeido (1-6) off balance before heaving the top-ranked maegashira over the ridge in a frontal takeout. The ozeki sits in a group of four wrestlers one off the pace.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai (4-3) blazed on full throttle with his trademark thrusting attack against Russian Aran to send the No. 1 maegashira backpedaling over the edge to a sixth defeat.