Sumo / Basho Reports

Harumafuji, Terunofuji suffer first defeats at Summer Basho

Kyodo

Yokozuna Harumafuji and ozeki Terunofuji became the first wrestlers in the top two ranks to taste defeat at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

All three yokozuna and all four ozeki entered the third day of the 15-day tournament with perfect records, the first time since May 2007 the top two ranks had been unbeaten through two days.

But ozeki Terunofuji was bundled out in his bout, while Harumafuji concluded the day’s action unable to cope with the bulk of Mongolian compatriot Ichinojo.

Harumafuji was barely able to budge the 211-kg Ichinojo, and the two settled in for a long stalemate. When the yokozuna finally tried to force a decision, the No. 2 maegashira kept his balance and steered Harumafuji out to his first defeat of May, while improving his own record to 2-1.

Kakuryu, the first yokozuna up, seized Takarafuji (0-3) by the throat before the top-ranked maegashira collapsed at the edge of the ring.

Yokozuna Hakuho won a brief but entertaining clash to improve to 15-1 in his career against top-ranked maegashira Myogiryu (0-3).

After a good opening charge by both men, Hakuho seized the initiative, forced his foe back and used all his might to send him sprawling over the straw with an overarm throw.

Terunofuji started with an aborted attempt to throw his nemesis Ikioi, but the Mongolian was soon put on the defensive.

Although Terunofuji twice fought back from the brink, Ikioi eventually forced him out to earn his first win as sekiwake and his fifth in six tries against his opponent.

After a good opening charge by both men, Hakuho seized the initiative, forced his man back and used all his might to send him sprawling over the straw with an overarm throw.

Terunofuji started with an aborted attempt to throw his nemesis Ikioi, but the Mongolian was soon put on the defensive. Although Terunofuji twice fought back from the brink, Ikioi eventually forced him out to earn his first win as sekiwake and his fifth in six tries against his opponent.

“I just went for it. Because he’s an ozeki, I expected a hard fight,” Ikioi said. “I’m really happy with this win.”

Kotoshogiku, the last ozeki to wrestle, did not give mountainous Bulgarian Aoiyama (1-2) any opportunities for an upset, the smaller ozeki driving his man to the ring’s edge.

When the No. 3 maegashira dug in his heels to forestall a force-out, Kotoshogiku executed a perfect beltless arm throw to finish him off.

Ozeki Kisenosato, who is looking to improve on his impressive 12-3 mark in March and win his maiden title at the age of 29, easily managed an aggressive attack from impressive 24-year-old Shodai (0-3) to shove out the No. 2 maegashira.

After a stalemated tachiai, ozeki Goeido wriggled in to grab the front of Kaisei’s belt and, with a mighty twist, tipped the Brazilian komusubi over to his third defeat.

In other sumo news, third-ranked maegashira Aminishiki, the oldest wrestler in the makuuchi division, will miss the rest of the tournament with a torn left Achilles tendon, his stablemaster Isegahama announced on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Aminishiki was injured in Monday’s defeat to Tochinoshin.

There is no timetable on his return.

Aminishiki was competing in his 93rd meet in sumo’s top flight, which ranks the fourth most of all time.