NAGOYA – Hakuho exacted sweet revenge on Goeido while ozeki Harumafuji outclassed Estonian big man Baruto with a clinic in speedy sumo Monday, leaving both men undefeated in a two-way tie for the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and compatriot Harumafuji improved to 9-0 records to sit one ahead of ozeki Kotoshogiku and rank-and-filer Kaisei. Ozeki pair Kisenosato and Baruto and maegashira wrestler Daido are each one further back at 7-2.
In the day’s final bout, Goeido, who beat Hakuho for the first time in 14 meetings at the summer basho in May, had another upset on the brain, but Hakuho was never fooled by the sekiwake’s tricky tactics at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Goeido jumped to his right off the tachiai, but Hakuho outflanked his opponent with a circling motion and regrouped with a firm grip on the mawashi before twisting Goeido (4-5) to the sandy surface.
The true test for the Mongolian firebrand will take place over the final six days, when he must face all six ozeki, beginning with countryman Kakuryu on Tuesday. Hakuho is seeking his 23rd career Emperor’s Cup and first title in two meets.
In the day’s penultimate bout, Harumafuji got his left hand on Baruto’s mawashi for an outside grip and spun his fellow ozeki around like a top before flooring him with a pulling-forward overarm throw.
Kotoshogiku stayed one behind the co-leaders, getting his left hand around for an outside grapple on Wakakoyu’s (2-7) mawashi before bumping and wriggling his opponent over the edge with his trademark “gaburi-yori” technique.
Kisenosato triumphed in an ozeki crunch-up, blasting Mongolian Kakuryu with a salvo of slaps and thrusts that sent his rival backpedaling out to a third loss.