NAGOYA – Despite the heat and pressure of a possible promotion to yokozuna in the balance, ozeki Kisenosato was cool as a cucumber on Monday, winning his second straight match at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Kisenosato joined all three yokozuna and injury-hit fellow ozeki Terunofuji at 2-0 in the 15-day event at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Tournament favorite Hakuho won his 31st consecutive bout by improving to 16-1 in his career against No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi (0-2). Hakuho was able to withstand the charge after Okinoumi got off the mark with a lightning-quick start.
When the maegashira recoiled for another go, Hakuho stepped to one side and let his man charge past him.
Yokozuna Harumafuji outfoxed top-ranked maegashira Tochiozan, taking a quick step backward to sucker his opponent into a trap. When Tochiozan (1-1) rushed forward, the yokozuna slapped him down to win by hatakikomi.
Maegashira Mitakeumi (0-2) put up some stern resistance but was eventually no match for yokozuna Kakuryu in the day’s final match.
Kisenosato improved to 9-0 in his career against Brazilian sekiwake Kasei (1-1). As often happens, Kisenosato kept his composure as he was pressed back on the tachiai, deftly seizing a left-handed hold of his opponent’s belt. After some wriggling, the ozeki secured another hold before securing an easy victory
Just inches from defeat, Terunofuji turned the tables on No. 3 Myogiryu (0-2) to snatch a huge second victory in his quest for the eight wins needed here to secure his ozeki status.
Myogiryu had his man backed to the edge of the ring with the Mongolian’s heels hovering just above the dirt on the wrong side of the straw bales. But the maegashira’s concentration faltered and a well-timed shove allowed Terunofuji to make his escape, turn Myogiryu around and force him out instead.
Ozeki Goeido evened his record at 1-1, forcing komusubi Kotoyuki (0-2) back on the initial charge and then twisting his man off balance.
The last ozeki to take to the ring, Kotoshigiku lost his footing on the sandy surface and fell sprawling to his second straight defeat, handing komusubi Takayasu (1-1) an easy victory.