Sumo / Basho Reports

Hakuho posts 880th makuuchi victory


Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho added another laurel to his crown on Monday, when he posted a record 880th makuuchi victory at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

There continued to be few surprises at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on the second day of the meet. A day after Hakuho tied Kaio’s mark of 879 makuuchi victories, all three yokozuna and all four ozeki maintained their perfect records at the 15-day event.

Hakuho, looking to win his second straight tournament and the 37th of his career, avenged his defeat to Takarafuji in March with a comprehensive win over the top-ranked maegashira, who fell to 0-2. Hakuho locked onto his opponent at the tachiai and forced him out with a minimum of fuss.

Up-and-coming 23-year-old Shodai did his best to absorb the charge of yokozuna Harumafuji, but it was not enough as the Mongolian’s momentum carried the No. 2 maegashira out of the ring swiftly by yorikiri.

Top-ranked Myogiryu (0-2), who entered with an 8-7 career record against Kakuryu, was unable to score the first big upset of the tourney. The two came after each other at full speed on the initial charge, but Kakuryu prevailed and drove his head into the maegashira’s chest, forcing him out.

Ozeki Kisenosato (2-0), looking to improve on his 13-2 record in March and win his first championship, was too much for popular new sekiwake Kotoyuki. Kotoyuki, who was not fit enough to fully train for the tournament, tested Kisenosato but was pushed to his second loss.

Terunofuji (2-0) kept pace with his fellow ozeki by improving to a career 10-0 against Bulgarian behemoth Aoiyama (1-1). The No. 3 maegashira posed a challenge with his bulk, but the Mongolian ozeki’s relentless attack was able to move the man-mountain over the straw.

Kotoshogiku (2-0) also proved too steady for Brazilian Kaisei. Grabbing the komusubi’s belt cleanly from the tachiai, the ozeki kept his legs churning until his larger opponent had nowhere to go but out to his second loss.

Goeido continued the rank’s unbeaten run with a lucky win over Okinoumi (0-2). After an overly rash charge by Goeido, the komusubi was close to throwing his opponent but failed to execute and instead found himself backpedaling out of the ring.

Popular third-ranked maegashira Aminishiki had to be helped from the ring after the veteran’s left knee buckled in his loss to Georgian No. 4 Tochinoshin. Aminishiki, who was trundled away in a wheelchair, said afterward it felt like his Achilles tendon snapped.