Hakuho, Harumafuji charge on in Fukuoka


Hakuho and Harumafuji kept up their torrid pace in two electrically charged bouts to jump-start the second week of action at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

The two yokozuna remained in a share of the lead at 8-0, while only No. 5 maegashira Aoiyama was one behind at 7-1. Eight rikishi were in a logjam two off the pace.

On the second straight day with a full house at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Hakuho and Harumafuji were once again in destruction mode, and sekiwake Goeido pulled off a major upset with a thrilling victory over ozeki Kisenosato in the day’s featured bout.

Hakuho, seeking his fifth consecutive championship and 28th overall title, never took his eyes off the ball as he whipped the smaller Takekaze with quick-fire thrusts in the penultimate match.

Takekaze, who at 34 was looking for his first-ever kinboshi, was knocked for a loop when the yokozuna uncorked a flurry of shots to the chest before upending him with a powerful tsukitaoshi.

In the day’s finale, Harumafuji, aiming for his sixth career title, went on the rampage with a speedy thrusting attack of Homasho (2-6), sending the No. 4 maegashira fleeing over the edge within seconds.

Kisenosato, meanwhile, charged forward like a bull but was caught off guard when the quick Goeido (6-2) deployed a savvy neck throw to send the ozeki sprawling to a second loss.

Ozeki Kakuryu swatted down Takayasu (1-7) to notch his sixth win.

Endo (3-5), emerging as a fan favorite in just his second appearance in the elite class, deployed a well-timed reverse leg trip to dump Tenkaiho (1-7) in an early bout.