Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho came roaring back from a shock defeat to beat ozeki Kotoshogiku on Friday and seize sole possession of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament with two rounds of bouts remaining.
Overnight co-leader Kaisei lost for the second day in a row at the hands of Goeido, and this time Hakuho cashed in, taking control at the charge and flooring Kotoshogiku (6-7) with a routine uwatenage (overarm throw).
Hakuho, stunned by Goeido on Thursday, improved to 11-2 and could claim his seventh consecutive title if he beats ozeki Kisenosato in their 51st meeting on Saturday and the second-place trio of Kaisei, Terunofuji and Ikioi, each at 10-3, all lose.
Brazilian No. 11 maegashira Kaisei faces top-ranked Tochinoshin, Terunofuji is up against fellow sekiwake Myogiryu and 10th-ranked Ikioi takes on komusubi Ichinojo.
Kaisei was saddled with another painful defeat as Goeido got a left-handed grip on his belt and sent him to the dirt by uwatenage to secure a majority of wins.
Harumafuji improved to 9-4 with a solid win over Kisenosato (9-4). The Mongolian yokozuna tore in low at the charge and got his hand on the back of Kisenosato’s neck and slapped him to the sandy surface.
At sekiwake, Myogiryu took down fourth-ranked maegashira Tokushoryu (5-8) to score a sixth win, and Terunofuji followed up Thursday’s upset win over Kisenosato by getting behind Takayasu (9-4) and dispatching the eighth-ranked maegashira with a powerful shove.
Tochiozan claimed bragging rights at sumo’s fourth-highest rank of komusubi by easily barging out Mongolian behemoth Ichinojo. Both wrestlers still need to win their final two bouts to avoid a losing record.
Ikioi defeated third-ranked Sadanoumi (6-7) by oshidashi.
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