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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007

Hakuho rebounds for first win

Kyodo News

Grand champion Hakuho rebounded from an opening-day upset to overpower fellow Mongolian Tokitenku and post his first win at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Hakuho never gave Tokitenku (0-2) a chance to get going in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan and barged the top-ranked maegashira over the straw bales with maximum efficiency.

Promoted to sumo's highest rank after the summer meet, Hakuho is wrestling as the lone grand champion in Tokyo and is hoping to capitalize on the absence of chief rival Asashoryu, who has been suspended from this tournament and the Kyushu meet in November.

Asashoryu is currently at home in Mongolia undergoing treatment for a stress disorder. The grand champion was diagnosed with the disorder shortly after he was suspended for playing in a charity soccer match in Mongolia, despite having been permitted to skip a regional training tour due to injuries.

In other action, Kotomitsuki chased out popular maegashira Homasaho (1-1) to score a second win on his ozeki debut but struggling Kaio was condemned to another shock defeat, this time by feisty komusubi Kisenosato.

Kisenosato (1-1) looked more like the ozeki as he yanked injury-weary Kaio around before getting a firm grip on the back of his belt and driving the 35-year-old out for the victory.

Kaio's defeat was to be the only upset of the day in the ozeki rank as Chiyotaikai and Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu both won to improve to 2-0.

Wrestling in his 52nd tournament at sumo's second-highest rank, Chiyotaikai put on an impressive display and sent second-ranked maegashira Tochinonada (0-2) packing with a series of trademark arm thrusts.



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