NAGOYA - Yokozuna Kakuryu and Hakuho each earned their third straight wins at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday to maintain their share of the lead.
In the final bout of the day at Dolphins Arena, Kakuryu easily dispatched top-ranked maegashira Asanoyama (1-2) in their first meeting in the top division. The Mongolian wrapped up Asanoyama by his arm and expertly swung May’s champion down to the clay.
Hakuho survived an aggressive attack from No. 1 Hokutofuji (0-3) to stay on track in his pursuit of a record-extending 43rd top-division title. Hokutofuji had chased the yokozuna around the ring while denying a belt hold, aiming for a sixth kimboshi prize for downing a yokozuna.
But Hakuho delivered a few desperate slaps, locked chest-to-chest with his opponent, and twisted Hokutofuji down before adding insult to injury by flattening the maegashira face-down into the sand with his 158-kg frame.
In other matches, Goeido (2-1) made quick work of No. 2 Aoiyama (2-1), whose attempt to pull down the ozeki failed as Goeido remained upright long enough to push out the big Bulgarian. Aoiyama, who defeated both sekiwake here, has only beaten Goeido three times in 25 match-ups.
Takayasu (2-1) was forced into a rematch for the second straight day after falling out of the ring while delivering a fatal push in his first encounter with No. 2 Endo (1-2). The ozeki took no chances in the second bout, thrusting Endo down as the maegashira went for an inside hold on Takayasu’s belt.
Returning ozeki Tochinoshin fell to his third straight loss at the hands of new komusubi Ryuden (2-1). The pair locked up with neither getting a good hold, and Ryuden took the Georgian by surprise by spinning him down to the clay by his belt.
The two sekiwake wrestlers squared off on Day 3, with Mitakeumi (2-1) earning his 10th straight victory in a rivalry with Tamawashi (0-3). Mitakeumi repelled the Mongolian’s initial charge and quickly bulldozed Tamawashi out of the ring.
Abi (1-2) earned his first win as a komusubi after thrusting out No. 3 Shodai (2-1). The sanyaku newcomer blasted Shodai with a double-armed attack to the neck and determinedly drove the maegashira over the straw.
Five lower-ranked wrestlers remain undefeated after three days of action in Nagoya: Kotoshogiku, Tomokaze, makuuchi debutant Takagenji, Enho and Terutsuyoshi.