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Hakuho, Kisenosato maintain perfect marks

Kyodo

Yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato showed convincing outings to preserve their perfect records on the sixth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday, when three rank-and-filers lost ground with their first defeats.

Hakuho won his 18th bout in 19 meetings against Okinoumi (2-4), halting the No. 3 maegashira’s charge with a firm tachiai before easily steering his counterpart out at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kisenosato kept up the pace with a composed win over Shodai (3-3), wrapping up the new sekiwake’s left arm with his right before grappling him out for his fourth win in their fifth career meet.

No. 15 maegashira Sadanoumi lost for his first time in the 15-day tourney earlier in the day, stepping over the straw bales trying to thrust down division-debutant and 12th-ranked maegashira Takakeisho (2-4).

Mongolian 10th-ranked maegashira Takanoiwa was turned sideways and got thrust out by No. 8 Hokutofuji (5-1), while Sokokurai from China’s Inner Mongolia did well to recover his ground but was slapped down by eighth-ranked Chiyonokuni (4-2), the No. 10 maegashira also succumbing to his first loss.

Yokozuna Harumafuji, who hurt his right thigh a day earlier, won his fourth bout of the tourney against Mongolian compatriot Tamawashi (4-2), crushing out the new sekiwake who desperately tried to stay alive at the edge.

In another battle of Mongolians, November tourney champ Kakuryu slumped to his third straight loss, giving No. 2 maegashira Arawashi his first win of the meet and first career victory against a yokozuna.

Arawashi quickly grabbed Kakuryu’s belt with his left arm and spun around to leave his opponent leaning backward before pushing him off the ring.

Injury-plagued ozeki Terunofuji earned his second win after the Mongolian pulled down No. 4 maegashira Tochiozan to his fifth loss of the tournament, while ozeki Goeido (4-2) came out on top of No. 2 maegashira Shohozan (2-4), claiming a force-out win after exchanging slaps.

After defeating two yokozuna and an ozeki this month, No. 1 maegashira Mitakeumi (4-2) took the scalp of ozeki Kotoshogiku (2-4), this time to continue his strong start. Mitakeumi was slapped off the initial charge but quickly got on the front foot to oust Kotoshogiku, who will be demoted to sekiwake with eight losses here.

Takayasu (4-2) won on default after fellow komusubi Tochinoshin pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury. The Georgian, who suffered the injury a day earlier against Shodai, is ruled out for two weeks and leaves the tourney without a single win.