Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho took out new sekiwake Kotoyuki to post his eighth win and retain his share of the lead with ozeki Kisenosato at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
Hakuho got a slap in at the charge and dodged to the side before working Kotoyuki (3-5) toward the edge of the ring and finishing the job with a pair of juicy neck thrusts.
Hakuho is seeking a record-extending 37th career title here after ending an eight-month trophy drought at the Spring Basho in Osaka in March.
Kisenosato had his hands full as Yoshikaze (2-6) gave as good as he got in an entertaining slugfest, but the ozeki prevailed by shoving the No. 4 maegashira over the ridge to secure a majority of wins and stay in the hunt for an elusive first championship title.
Hakuho and Kisenosato are one win ahead of yokozuna Harumafuji and ozeki Goeido. Yokozuna Kakuryu rebounded from Saturday’s loss to Kotoyuki by outlasting Bulgarian-born No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama (2-6) and is in a five-way tie for third at 6-2.
Harumafuji spotted an opening after the charge and got a firm grip on ozeki and New Year champion Kotoshogiku’s (5-3) right arm and sent him down with a tottari arm-bar throw.
Goeido got an early scare in his bout against Ichinojo (3-5), but he showed nifty footwork at the edge of the ring to thrust out the towering Mongolian No. 2 maegashira and stay in touch with the leaders.
Terunofuji’s (2-6) dismal run of results continued as the ozeki was condemned to a sixth consecutive defeat, komusubi Okinoumi (2-6) deploying a kotenage armlock throw to send the Mongolian sprawling to the dirt.
“I’m pleased that I won but I am still not wrestling my brand of sumo and need to stay focused,” said Okinoumi.
Ikioi’s debut at sumo’s third-highest rank of sekiwake took another downward turn as he was muscled out to a fifth defeat at the hands of Brazilian komusubi Kaisei, who improved to 3-5.