Hakuho rolls on

by and

Kyodo News

NAGOYA — There appears to be no Kryptonite that can faze the yokozuna called Hakuho.

The Mongolian grand champion disposed of Aminishiki on Thursday to retain his spotless record on the fifth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, extending his personal record winning streak to 37 bouts.

In the day’s final bout, Hakuho locked up Aminishiki’s (2-3) hands before reaching around for a belt grip and sending the No. 2 maegashira rolling to the dohyo surface with a powerful overarm throw.

With the 15-day meet approaching the end of the first week of action, Hakuho stands out as the central figure in a tie for the lead with Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu and rank-and-filers Homasho and Mongolian Kakuryu, also with 5-0 marks.

After winning his 37th consecutive bout to sit alone in fourth on the all-time list, Hakuho’s sights are set on achieving the 45-bout winning streak achieved by former yokozuna Taiho. If all goes as planned, he could match the feat on the 13th day.

Hakuho is also in a bid to become the first wrestler since the six-tourney system was introduced to win three consecutive tournaments without any defeats.

Kotooshu absorbed a fierce charge from Tochiozan (2-3) but was never in trouble as he went on the counterattack to bulldoze the top-ranked maegashira over the edge.

Mongolian Harumafuji had his work cut out against winless countryman Asasekiryu, who tried to drag the ozeki down by the head as the clash got under way.

Harumafuji (2-3), however, got his hands and elbows well placed to squeeze his opponent over the edge at the last second.

Estonian man-mountain Baruto, meanwhile, waited for the perfect moment after getting hemmed up with Kyokutenho at the ring’s center, quickly moving a hand under his opponent’s armpit before ushering him over the straw bales. Both men sit at 3-2.