FUKUOKA – Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho took another stride toward a record-extending 36th career title on Thursday with a convincing win over ozeki Kotoshogiku at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho improved to 12-0 after forcing out Fukuoka-born Kotoshogiku (7-5), scoring his 46th win in 50 meetings between the two at grand tournaments. Hakuho initially allowed Kotoshogiku to get ahold of the right side of his belt but broke away to safely steer out the ozeki at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Harumafuji remains a win behind Hakuho after a one-sided triumph over demotion-threatened ozeki Goeido (6-6). The Mongolian yokozuna, the smallest wrestler in the makuuchi division, quickly thrust Goeido out of the ring after his opponent backed off following the initial charge.
Another Fukuoka native, Shohozan, kept himself in the title race behind the two yokozuna at 10-2. The No. 10 maegashira shoved seventh-ranked Kyokushuho (7-5) to the edge of the ring before flooring the Mongolian with an overarm throw.
Yokozuna Kakuryu (8-4) secured a winning record in imperious fashion, bulldozing ozeki Kisenosato (8-4) off the ring straight from the start.
Ozeki Terunofuji crashed to his sixth loss of the meet, allowing No. 3 maegashira Toyonoshima (5-7) to turn near the edge and steer him out after failing with an arm-grabbing force-out attempt.
Georgian komusubi Tochinoshin improved to 5-7 after outlasting Egyptian No. 1 maegashira Osunaarashi (5-7) to force him out.
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