FUKUOKA – Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho showed no sign of letting up in his quest for a recording-extending 36th career title on Tuesday, manhandling Tochiozan to remain in sole possession of the lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho dodged Tochiozan’s attack and quickly gained control of the bout, forcing the sekiwake (5-5) out before flashing a mischievous grin as he stepped down from the raised ring at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Hakuho, who has looked back to his dominant self in returning from a knee injury that forced him to withdraw on the third day of the Autumn Basho in September, moved to 10-0, staying one win ahead of fellow yokozuna Harumafuji.
Harumafuji made short work of local favorite Kotoshogiku, quickly getting a firm grip on the back of his mawashi and sending the ozeki to a third loss with a textbook overarm throw.
Like Hakuho, Harumafuji is also making a comeback here from injury, having missed the entire last meet and most of the Nagoya Basho in July due to a right elbow injury.
Yokozuna Kakuryu, winner of the September tournament, was the day’s biggest victim in dropping four wins off the pace after being forced out by Goeido (6-4).
Goeido now only needs to win two of his last five bouts at the 15-day tournament to retain his ozeki rank.
In other bouts of note, ozeki Kisenosato’s title hopes took a hit when he was shoved out to a shock second loss at the hands of third-ranked maegashira Toyonoshima (4-6).
“I just went for it right from the start and was patient,” Toyonoshima said after snapping a four-bout losing streak. “I’ve kept on losing so I wanted to get back to winning ways.”
Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji, who has been hampered by a leg injury, showed brute determination to drive out sekiwake Myogiryu.
Terunofuji leveled his record at 5-5 and condemned his opponent to a majority of losses in the process.
At komusubi, Georgian grappler Tochinoshin dropped to 3-7 after coming unstuck against Mongolian giant Ichinojo (4-6).
It was a bad day all-round for sumo’s fourth-highest rank as Yoshikaze (6-4) got blasted out by Egyptian No. 1 maegashira Osunaarashi (4-6).
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