Hakuho still in familiar position


Yokozuna Hakuho shrugged off a fierce charge from Wakakoyu while Harumafuji dodged a bullet from Goeido to remain tied for the lead with undefeated records at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

In the day’s finale, Wakakoyu unleashed a storm of slaps against the yokozuna, but Hakuho maintained his calm before slapping the No. 3 maegashira to the dirt surface at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Wakakoyu slipped to 2-5.

Hakuho is seeking an unprecedented eighth consecutive title here and his career 20th Emperor’s Cup.

Harumafuji had his hands full when he let Goeido (1-6) inside momentarily for a belt grip, but the Mongolian ozeki reacted quickly with an overarm throw after slipping from his opponent’s grasp.

Ozeki Baruto leads a group of five wrestlers one off the pace at 6-1 at the 15-day meet, which is the first regular tourney in six months after a match-fixing scandal sent the national sport into a tailspin.

Estonian goliath Baruto spun Tochinoshin (2-5) around the ring in powerful display, deploying a right-handed belt grip while pressing down on the Georgian komusubi’s head and sending him headlong into the ringside cushions.

Bulgarian Kotooshu, meanwhile, moved within three wins of saving his ozeki status with a textbook frontal force out of little-man Toyonoshima, who slipped to a 2-5 mark.

Record-breaker Kaio gave another vintage performance, reaching deep in his energy reserves to topple Aminishiki (1-6) on the edge to improve to a 3-4 slate.

The Tomozuna ozeki holds the all-time career wins record with 1,047 after surpassing Chiyonofuji’s all-time mark of 1,045 on the fifth day.