Hakuho overpowered fellow yokozuna Kisenosato in a marquee showdown on Friday and remains undefeated after 13 straight days at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
In their 60th career meeting, Hakuho took control at the outset and muscled Kisenosato (9-4) to the straw. Kisenosato attempted to circle away, but Hakuho pursued him relentlessly and shoved him out of the other side of the ring.
“I was a little nervous because it’s been some time since I have beaten him,” said Hakuho, who had lost his three previous bouts against Kisenosato.
Hakuho improved to 44-16 against his counterpart and claimed his 999th makuuchi division victory. He needs one more win at the 15-day tournament to clinch his first top division title of the year and record-extending 41st overall championship.
In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, yokozuna Kakuryu (10-3) suffered his third straight loss when he was bulldozed out of contention by ozeki Goeido (11-2). The two wrestlers, along with ozeki Takayasu, had both started the day two wins off the pace.
Goeido employed a quick left-handed slap to the yokozuna and charged him out before Kakuryu had time to recover. The ozeki will face his biggest test on Day 14, when he squares off against Hakuho.
Takayasu (11-2) overwhelmed No. 4 maegashira Abi (6-7) to remain two wins behind Hakuho along with Goeido, while No. 3 Shodai (6-7) outmaneuvered Tochinoshin (7-6) for a much-needed victory.
Shodai was put on the back foot by the Georgian but prevented Tochinoshin from securing his favored left-handed belt hold. Seizing an opportunity, the maegashira circled around the ozeki and twisted the him down to the clay.
“I was just trying to make something happen, so I’m glad I could withstand his attack. I didn’t want him to get ahold of my belt,” Shodai said. “I want to make sure I stay as high as possible in the rankings.”
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (7-6) satisfied his cheering fans with a win against No. 5 Myogiryu (8-5), while sekiwake Ichinojo (6-7) easily dispatched No. 2 Chiyotairyu (4-9).
Earlier, Takakeisho (7-6) beat Tamawashi (3-10) in a komusubi clash. The 22-year-old Takakeisho, gunning for an eighth win by Sunday, stood his 33-year-old opponent up and shoved him out to his 10th loss.
Among the rank-and-file wrestlers, No. 12 Nishikigi and No. 15 Chiyoshoma both secured winning records.