Hakuho takes unbeaten run into second week of summer basho


Undefeated yokozuna Hakuho outmaneuvered would-be challenger Yoshikaze in a sumo clinic to win his eighth match at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Hakuho improved to 8-0 while ozeki Kisenosato and rank-and-filer Ikioi are one off the pace at 7-1. Yokozuna debutant Kakuryu bounced back from the previous day’s loss but received a shower of boos from the crowd for a listless performance.

Hakuho once again made the difficult look easy as he absorbed a hard charge from Yoshikaze (3-5) and circumvented the newly promoted komusubi before jousting him with his left hand into the ringside seats and onto a female photographer at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho, who is seeking his 29th career title and first in two meets, has achieved a majority of wins in eight consecutive tournaments on the eighth day — his 33rd time overall.

Kakuryu, who suffered his second defeat on Saturday, committed the cardinal sin of a yokozuna when he sidestepped to the right and brought down winless Takarafuji in the penultimate bout. The yokozuna won his first career title at the spring basho in March but has gotten off to a troubling start at sumo’s top rank.

Harumafuji, who has also lost two bouts, went into destruction mode against Chiyootori (2-6), who beat Kakuryu on Saturday. The yokozuna stayed low in the crouch before toppling the newly promoted komusubi hard over the ridge.

Endo (4-4) was no match for Kisenosato, despite making a valiant effort to outflank his opponent. The ozeki used his heavier frame to extinguish his opponent’s attack before upending the popular maegashira over the edge.

Sekiwake Goeido, who has been hoping to make a run at ozeki in the near future, slipped to a fourth defeat at the hands of Chiyotairyu (2-6).