FUKUOKA – Yokozuna Hakuho improved to 6-0 on Friday, when he seized the sole lead after six days of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
A day after his poise failed him and he had to rely on brute strength to overcome his opponent, the Mongolian master pressed No. 3 maegashira Shohozan (2-4) back to the straw and finished his opponent with a throw as both toppled out of the ring.
With both men trying to throw the other in the same direction, Hakuho had the upper hand, sending Shohozan down first with an overarm throw. Hakuho improved his career record against Shohozan to 13-0.
The yokozuna started the day tied with two other wrestlers, ozeki Goeido and No. 13 maegashira Aminishiki, but both fell by the wayside to leave Hakuho in pole position.
Goeido suffered a narrow defeat to No. 2 maegashira Chiyotairyu (2-4). The ozeki adopted a defensive approach and was able to outmaneuver his much larger opponent, but hesitated to attack when Chiyotairyu was off balance.
With both wrestlers teetering near the edge, Goeido attempted to slap the maegashira and topple him, but instead sacrificed his own balance and fell backward out of the ring.
The other ozeki, Takayasu, suffered his second straight loss after starting the tournament at 4-0. In an artless slap fest, Takayasu appeared to lose his concentration at a crucial juncture, let down his guard with his heels to the straw and was easily pushed out by No. 1 maegashira Takakeisho (4-2).
Yokozuna Kisenosato won his second straight bout to improve to 4-2 and avoid falling further out of the lead. Kisenosato defeated winless No. 2 maegashira Tochiozan by twisting him down.