• Kyodo


Yokozuna Hakuho survived a scare against Endo on Monday and celebrated a win on his 34th birthday on the second day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day’s penultimate bout at Edion Arena Osaka, top-ranked maegashira Endo (0-2) had Hakuho on the ropes, but the Mongolian yokozuna turned his opponent around and nearly sent him off as he gained some distance.

Hakuho, seeking a record-extending 42nd top division title, quickly seized the opportunity and pushed Endo out to keep his perfect record.

Fellow grand champion Kakuryu also prevailed, holding out against No. 1 Kaisei (0-2) to earn his first win after an opening-day upset to komusubi Mitakeumi at the 15-day meet.

Among the ozeki, hometown favorite Goeido easily dispatched new komusubi Hokutofuji (0-2) to improve to 2-0.

Hokutofuji, fighting in the sanyaku ranks, the three below yokozuna, for the first time in his career, was put on edge by the ozeki after making a false start and was quickly driven out in his second attempt.

Takayasu (2-0) fended off a strong effort from Mitakeumi (1-1) in a bout that lasted nearly two minutes.

Mitakeumi immediately drove the ozeki to edge of the straw, but was shifted into an awkward low position after Takayasu stopped the charge.

After the wrestlers, who both have Filipino mothers, locked into a lengthy stalemate, it was Takayasu who took the next step, charging the komusubi out before falling off the ring himself.

Tochinoshin lost his bout against No. 2 Myogiryu (1-1) and evened his account after winning on Day 1.

The Georgian was caught upright in the initial clash and was unable to stand his ground against Myogiryu’s lethal charge.

Sekiwake Tamawashi, seeking back-to-back titles after his maiden win in January, suffered his first defeat of the tournament at the hands of No. 2 Daieisho (1-1).

The Mongolian champion was caught off balance trying to mount an offensive against his opponent, allowing Daieisho to push him down and out of the ring.

His sekiwake counterpart Takakeisho, meanwhile, stayed on track for a promotion to ozeki, sumo’s second-highest rank, with a win over No. 3 Nishikigi (0-2).

The 22-year-old, the second-youngest man in the division, dug in low against the maegashira and exhibited his definitive push-out technique to remain undefeated.

Among the rank-and-file wrestlers, 24-year-old top-division debutants Daishoho, Terutsuyoshi and Tomokaze all took losses on the second day of action in Osaka.

No. 16 Daishoho and No. 14 Terutsuyoshi, the shortest man in the division at 169 centimeters, are still looking for their first top-tier wins, while No. 13 Tomokaze opened the tournament Sunday by beating No. 13 Kagayaki.

Former sekiwake Toyonoshima (1-1), fighting in makuuchi for the first time in nearly three years due to an Achilles tendon rupture, was thrust down by No. 15 Kotoeko (1-1) and suffered his first loss of the meet.

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