Yokozuna rivals still tied for lead


Harumafuji blazed through Takekaze and rival yokozuna Hakuho was all business in a demolition of Shohozan as the pair remained in a dead heat with undefeated 7-0 records at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

Ozeki Kisenosato leads a group of four wrestlers, one behind the two yokozuna, at 6-1.

Harumafuji, who is trying to deny Hakuho his fifth consecutive championship, came barreling forward in a quick-fire thrusting attack that knocked Takekaze (4-3) off-balance before he swatted his opponent to the dohyo surface.

Hakuho, who is gunning for his 28th career title, wasted little time on Shohozan (1-6) as he stopped the komusubi in his tracks before administering the same technique in the day’s finale.

In one of the day’s featured bouts, Kisenosato lost his footing on the sandy surface momentarily against Homasho (2-5) before getting back on track to muscle his opponent out.

Ozeki Kakuryu outwitted Toyonoshima (2-5) with a quick pull-down technique to improve to 5-2.

Veteran Kyokutenho (2-5) turned back Father Time with a lively performance, wrenching down Takayasu (1-6) with a well-timed underarm throw.

The 39-year-old posted his 860th career win to place him in a tie for sixth on the all-time list. Kotoyuki, a No. 10 maegashira, was the third casualty from the Sadogatake stable following ozeki duo Kotoshogiku and Kotooshu to bow out of the tournament after suffering a knee injury.

It is the first time three makuuchi wrestlers from one stable have pulled out of a meet since the 1946 Autumn Basho.