Sumo

Hakuho fails in first chance to equal mark

Kyodo

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho suffered a shocking first defeat at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, but still managed to hold onto sole possession of the lead with four days of the meet remaining.

Hakuho (10-1) was widely expected to keep his flawless record intact and match former ozeki Kaio’s all-time wins record of 1,047 in the day’s finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

But newly promoted sekiwake Mitakeumi (8-3) had other ideas and, after getting a right-hand grip on the back of the yokozuna’s belt, muscled him over the straw ridge.

“I just tried to wrestle my own way. I am delighted,” said Mitakeumi, whose only previous win against Hakuho came by default after the yokozuna pulled out of the Spring meet in March with an injury.

Hakuho still has four days to match and then surpass Kaio’s record. The 38-time Emperor’s Cup winner faces sekiwake Tamawashi on Thursday.

Hakuho managed to stay one win clear after his closest rival, Bulgarian born No. 8 maegashira Aoiyama (9-2) was dragged down to a second defeat by 15th-ranked Nishikigi (6-5).