Harumafuji still unbeaten as autumn basho enters second week


After one week of action, the man of the hour is standing.

Harumafuji, in his third bid for promotion to yokozuna, gave Myogiryu a swift beat-down to improve to 8-0 and move a step closer to sumo’s top rank at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

The Mongolian ozeki retained his lead in a pack of five wrestlers featuring yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato, tossing aside Myogiryu in one reflexive motion to extend his winning streak to 24 bouts after claiming the Nagoya title with a perfect record in July.

Harumafuji, one of the three remaining ozeki after Bulgarian Kotooshu, Kotoshogiku and Estonian Baruto pulled out through injury, allowed Myogiryu (6-2) to get a grip on his mawashi right out of the gate, but used his right arm in a perfectly executed headlock throw to send the sekiwake flailing onto his back.

Hakuho, meanwhile, took his time against the sticky Toyonoshima (2-6), moving inside with his favored right leaning grip before escorting the diminutive No. 3 maegashira over the edge in comfortable fashion in the final bout of the day in front of a full house at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The lone yokozuna is aiming for his 23rd career title and first championship since the spring basho in March.

Mongolian Kakuryu made quick work of Aminishiki (6-2) with a series of quick thrusts to stay one off the pace, while fellow ozeki Kisenosato deployed an overarm technique against Shohozan to stay in the chase for his first career Emperor’s Cup.

Kyokutenho, surprise winner of the summer basho in May, notched his eighth victory to stay in the running with a firm shove out of Asasekiryu, who slipped to 4-4.

No. 9 maegashira Takayasu toppled Chiyotairyu (4-4) with a well-worked thrust-out maneuver to also stay undefeated.

Sekiwake Goeido (5-3) used the 212-kg Gagamaru’s (2-6) weight against him, flipping the roly-poly Georgian wrestler over with an overarm throw when his opponent lunged forward.