Nagoya – Yokozuna Hakuho remained undefeated in his comeback from injury at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, using his polished grappling technique to topple rank-and-file opponent Endo.
Ozeki Terunofuji, who is bidding for promotion to yokozuna, was also victorious on Day 2 at Dolphin’s Arena, but the action inside the ring was overshadowed by injury concerns for ozeki Takakeisho, who appeared to be hurt during his upset loss to No. 2 maegashira Ichinojo.
The winner of a record 44 top-level championships, Hakuho has staked his career on his results at the current 15-day meet after missing all or part of the past six tournaments and undergoing knee surgery in March.
Following a hard-fought opening-day win over komusubi Meisei, the 36-year-old Mongolian-born great stayed in control against No. 1 Endo (0-2) in the final bout of Day 2.
Unleashing a barrage of slaps to keep Endo at a distance, Hakuho hooked the maegashira under the arm and sent him tumbling off the raised ring with a pulling overarm throw.
In one of the day’s most exciting contests, Terunofuji withstood a furious attack from new komusubi Wakatakakage (0-2), who claimed several high-ranked victims in May on the way to earning his first promotion to the three “sanyaku” ranks below yokozuna.
Moving quickly out of the blocks, Wakatakakage shifted Terunofuji off balance and attacked him with a double-hand inside grip. Forced into a defensive stance, Terunofuji grabbed his opponent’s belt from the outside and held his ground before eventually maneuvering him to the edge and forcing him out.
The winner of the past two grand tournaments, Terunofuji can secure promotion to sumo’s highest rank with a championship in Nagoya.
In the day’s penultimate bout, Takakeisho was quickly forced out by Ichinojo (2-0) and had to be helped away from the dohyo with what appeared to be a possible neck injury.
Ozeki Shodai stayed perfect at 2-0 by toppling dangerous No. 1 Daieisho, winner of the New Year tournament.
Opening with his trademark pushing and thrusting attack, Daieisho (0-2) sought to drive out Shodai, but the ozeki kept his footing and ended the bout with a thrust down.
Sekiwake Mitakeumi (1-1) opened his account by pushing out No. 2 Takanosho (0-2). The two-time Emperor’s Cup winner dug in his heels following a strong opening collision from former sekiwake Takanosho before driving him back and out.
Meisei (0-2) remained winless after being forced out by No. 3 Hokutofuji (2-0).
The grand tournament in Aichi Prefecture is the first away from Tokyo with spectators since the November 2019 Kyushu tourney in Fukuoka. Attendance in Nagoya is being capped at 3,800, half the venue’s full capacity, in line with the government’s COVID-19 policies.
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