FUKUOKA – Returning yokozuna Hakuho saw his title hopes dented after nemesis Kisenosato sentenced him to a second defeat at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
The result saw Hakuho (8-2), who missed the last tournament through injury, fall two wins behind sole leader and fellow Mongolian yokozuna Kakuryu with five days left of the 15-day meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
So often a thorn in Hakuho’s side in the past, ozeki Kisenosato (8-2) got stuck into the yokozuna in an explosive opening bout, but looked to be on his way out after getting worked up against the straw ridge.
But Kisenosato, who famously snapped Hakuho’s 63-bout winning streak at this tournament in 2010, showed nifty footwork to escape the jam and countered to shove the 37-time Emperor’s Cup winner over the bales.
Kakuryu stayed unbeaten at 10-0, getting both hands on the back of ozeki Terunofuji’s (7-3) belt and swinging him across the sandy surface and out.
Kakuryu is one win clear of Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji and rank-and-filer Ishiura.
Harumafuji wrapped up the day’s action by flattening sekiwake Takayasu (6-4) with an outside leg trip.
Ishiura continued his excellent form in his debut in the elite makuuchi division, the 15th-ranked maegashira sending 14th-ranked Chinese grappler Sokokurai (6-4) out from behind in the day’s opening bout in the top flight.
His yokozuna promotion hopes all but shattered after a third defeat on Monday, Goeido claimed ozeki bragging rights by shoving out Kotoshogiku (3-7).
Sekiwake Okinoumi fell to a losing record after he was barged over the edge by top-ranked maegashira Tochiozan (3-7).
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