• Kyodo

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Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato maintained their perfect starts but yokozuna Kakuryu suffered his second defeat on Saturday, the seventh day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho made a rare false start against his frequent victim Aoiyama (2-5), and was repeatedly put on his back foot by the No. 3 maegashira. But the Bulgarian inexplicably lost his balance trying to charge and floored himself for his 16th loss in 17 career bouts against the yokozuna.

Kisenosato was pushed toward the edge of the ring by giant Mongolian Ichinojo (3-4), but was calm and parried the No. 2 maegashira’s attack before sending him out from behind.

Fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji smartly dispatched in-form Georgian No. 4 maegashira Tochinoshin (5-2), who started well but was floored by an overarm throw as he ventured forward.

Kakuryu, however, succumbed to his second defeat. New sekiwake Kotoyuki (3-4) pushed the yokozuna’s chest and throat with both arms to put him off balance and then chased the desperate Mongolian around the ring before finally shoving him out.

Ozeki Goeido (6-1), who suffered his first loss the day before due to a weak tachiai, took his time before barging in head down. He withstood several shoves and slaps from Yoshikaze (2-5) before pushing out the No. 4 maegashira in a fiery bout.

Fellow ozeki Kotoshogiku (5-2) looked to be headed to his third defeat after an armlock throw from Ikioi (3-4), but somehow survived, hovering above the sekiwake to narrowly crush him out.

Second-ranked maegashira and Kumamoto-native Shodai earned his first win, beating injury-plagued ozeki Terunofuji (2-5). The ozeki showed signs of improvement with his initial charge but was thrust down for his fifth straight defeat.

“I’m still falling behind on the tachiai, but I’d like to give the (people in Kumamoto) as much energy as I can,” Shodai said a month after the first in a series of huge earthquakes hit the prefecture.

No. 5 maegashira Tochiozan pushed down top-ranked Myogiryu (2-5) to keep pace with his sixth win, but No. 11 maegashira Shohozan lost his second bout against seventh-ranked Egyptian Osunaarashi (5-2).

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