Yokozuna Kisenosato bounced back from an opening defeat to register his first win of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
Making his comeback following a run of injuries that kept him from finishing the past four tournaments, Kisenosato (1-1) beat No. 1 maegashira Hokutofuji (0-2) on Day 2 of the 15-day tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Despite never appearing in danger of losing, Kisenosato was far from convincing as he labored to dislodge his opponent using his favored frontal force-out technique.
Yokozuna Kakuryu (2-0), likewise sidelined through injury for the past four meets, continued his comeback in positive fashion, overcoming komusubi Takakeisho (1-1), who had beaten Kisenosato on the opening day.
Despite a 15-kg weight disadvantage, Kakuryu had relatively little trouble overpowering Takakeisho, removing him from the ring with a front push-out.
Yokozuna Hakuho (2-0), who scored the second-fastest victory of the opening day, met much firmer resistance on Day 2 in the form of first-ranked maegashira Ichinojo (0-2).
The Mongolian-born grand champion continued his dominance over his compatriot, who had won just one of their previous 10 meetings, but had to dig deep to force the 215-kg, 192-cm man mountain backward out of the ring.
In the day’s longest bout, ozeki Takayasu (2-0) dispatched second-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku (0-2) by overarm throw moments after trying to lift the former ozeki from the ring. The two wrestlers, who had split their 22 previous career bouts, spent the better part of the 1-minute, 41.5-second match immobile in the center of the ring.
In just their third meeting, ozeki Goeido (2-0) maintained an unbeaten record over komusubi Onosho (0-2), toppling him with an overarm throw.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (2-0) scored a quick victory over third-ranked maegashira Chiyotairyu (0-2), driving him backward out of the ring with a frontal force-out.
Sekiwake Tamawashi (2-0) used his 22-kg weight advantage to overpower No. 2 maegashira Yoshikaze (0-2), dislodging the smaller wrestler with a frontal thrust-out.
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