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Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007

Yokozuna Hakuho still in hunt for title

Kyodo News

Mongolian bruiser Hakuho stayed on course for his first title as a yokozuna with a force-out win over Kisenosato at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

News photo
Yokozuna Hakuho, left, drives komusubi Kisenosato out of the ring on the sixth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Friday. KYODO PHOTO

After a pair of false starts, Hakuho tore into Kisenosato in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan and had little trouble barging the young komusubi over the straw bales for a fifth win.

Hakuho sits one win behind sekiwake Aminishiki, who emerged as the sole leader with a 6-0 mark after a convincing win over former ozeki Dejima (2-4).

Rank-and-filer Kasugao fell out of a two-way tie for overnight lead after he dropped his first bout of the meet at the hands of eighth-ranked Takekaze (5-1).

Promoted to sumo's top rank after the summer tourney in May, Hakuho is wrestling as the lone yokozuna here and is favorite to cart home the tournament hardware in the absence of fellow Mongolian Asashoryu.

In other bouts of note, Chiyotaikai (5-1) bounced back from Thursday's loss to Ama by taking out top-ranked Tokitenku (1-5) with a thrust-and-pull technique, but ozeki debutant Kotomitsuki slumped to a second loss after being overpowered by Mongolian sekiwake Asasekiryu (3-3).

Earlier in the day, injury-prone ozeki Kaio withdrew after injuring his thigh again in his defeat against fourth-ranked maegashira Dejima on Thursday.



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