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Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007

Aminishiki still unbeaten; Hakuho wins again

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho scalped his sixth victim in the form of rank-and-filer Kotoshogiku Saturday, staying one behind undefeated sekiwake Aminishiki at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Maegashira No. 14 Goeido (left) drives maegashira No. 13 Ryuo out of the ring on the seventh day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho was far too quick out of the crouch, getting both arms under the No. 3 maegashira's armpits and power-driving him over the edge to improve to 6-1 in the final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Kotoshogiku slipped to 3-4.

Hakuho is gunning for his first title after his promotion to yokozuna and is the favorite to cart home the hardware in the absence of suspension-hit grand champion Asashoryu.

Aminishiki, meanwhile, lost his nerve after one false start and decided to take easy street, but defeated Tokitenku (1-6) with a "henka" side maneuver immediately after the faceoff to stay in sole possession of the lead as the tournament enters the second week.

In other key bouts, ozeki debutant Kotomitsuki (5-2) handcuffed Hokutoriki (1-6) with a firm left-handed belt grip at the ring's center and slowly grounded out his opponent to bounce back from a defeat to Asasekiryu on Friday.

Chiyotaikai unleashed his trademark thrusts to bulldoze out Kakuryu, improving to 6-1 while leaving his No. 2 maegashira opponent with a 2-5 mark.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (5-2) attempted an ill-advised arm throw on Dejima (3-4) only to be sent tumbling over the edge when the former ozeki used a counter throw at the last second.

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