Hakuho blasted out Terunofuji to register a quick-fire third win on Tuesday and keep his share of the early lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
The Mongolian yokozuna met little resistance from Terunofuji (1-2) at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, charging the top-ranked maegashira out of the ring in a matter of seconds to make it three wins from three at the 15-day basho.
Hakuho’s yokozuna rivals, Harumafuji and Kakuryu, also won handsomely, while Kyokutenho and Ichinojo are also in an all-Mongolian five-way tie for top spot.
Kakuryu had little trouble picking up his third win, sending No. 1 maegashira Endo (0-3) sprawling with an under-shoulder swing down, while Harumafuji countered to tip Takayasu (1-2) over the straw ridge in the day’s last match.
In other bouts in the upper ranks, ozeki Kotoshogiku bounced Bulgarian No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama out to a first loss to leave both men with 2-1 marks, but Goeido’s lackluster start to his ozeki debut continued with a second defeat, at the hands of third-ranked Yoshikaze (2-1).
Goeido, who won by default on Tuesday after Toyonoshima withdrew from the tournament with a knee injury, tore into Yoshikaze at the face-off but could not keep up the momentum and was floored by a rare “komatasukui” over thigh scooping body drop.
“I thought he would be nervous because he is a new ozeki and I tried to stay cool,” said Yoshikaze. “It was not a great performance but I am glad I never gave up.”
Kisenosato (2-1) was given a run for his money by Chiyotairyu (0-3), the pair exchanging a flurry of slaps and thrusts before Kisenosato took control to usher the komusubi over the edge.
Takekaze, who needed 68 tournaments to reach sekiwake, bumped out Jokoryu to improve to 2-1 while leaving his opponent winless on his debut at sumo’s fourth-highest rank of komusubi.
Sumo’s elder statesman Kyokutenho delivered another vintage performance to stay among the early pacesetters, the 40-year-old thrusting out 12th-ranked Sadanofuji, who dropped to 1-2.
Wrestling like a seasoned veteran on his debut in the elite makuuchi division, Ichinojo comfortably saw off No. 8 maegashira Tochiozan (2-1).
The 192-cm, 199-kg Ichinojo had a successful amateur career that allowed the 21-year-old to make his pro debut in the third-tier makushita division, and he already looks like he has all the ingredients of a future star.