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Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007

Yokozuna Hakuho improves to 3-1 after impressive victory

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho churned out an impressive win over rank-and-filer Tochinonada on Wednesday, staying hot on the heels of five co-leaders at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Kotomitsuki defeats maegashira No. 1 Tokitenku with a lower-arm throw on the fourth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Wednesday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho got his right arm around his opponent's shoulder for a deft beltless arm technique, dumping the No. 2 maegashira to improve to 3-1. Tochinonada slipped to his third defeat.

Hakuho, who was tripped up in an opening-day defeat to compatriot Ama, appears to have found his rhythm in the early going of the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Chiyotaikai is the only undefeated ozeki among the five co-leaders.

Hakuho, who finished with an 11-4 record in his yokozuna debut in July, is hoping to benefit from the absence of suspension-hit yokozuna Asashoryu, his chief rival whose punishment bars him from the September and November meets.

Ozeki-debutant Kotomitsuki (3-1), meanwhile, got a quick jump at the faceoff against Tokitenku (1-3) and deployed a well-timed underarm throw against the No. 1 maegashira to bounce back from a shock defeat to Ama a day earlier.

The remaining three ozeki came through unscathed after suffering upsets on Tuesday.

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