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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hakuho on course for perfect Nagoya record

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Hakuho stayed on course to cap his seventh career title with a spotless record after overpowering Kotomitsuki on the penultimate day of the Nagoya Sumo Grand Tournament on Saturday.

News photo
Steady grip: Kaio clamps an arm lock on fellow ozeki Kotooshu before throwing him out of the ring on the penultimate day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho, who clinched the Emperor's Cup after beating Kaio on Friday, toppled Kotomitsuki (10-4) with a belt-grip throw after getting the ozeki off-balance with an effective leg trip in the day's finale to improve his mark to 14-0.

Hakuho on Friday became the first wrestler to clinch an Emperor's Cup on the 13th day since fellow Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu did it in January 2005. Asashoryu, a 22-time winner in the elite makuuchi division, pulled out of the Nagoya tourney early on because of an elbow injury.

In the day's other main bouts at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Kaio seized control of the match against fellow ozeki Kotooshu from the outset and sent the Bulgarian tumbling down from the raised ring with a well-timed arm-lock throw, leaving both men at 9-5.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai (9-5) avoided losing for the third straight day with a powerful throat grip that forced No. 4 maegashira Wakanosato (5-9) out of the ring straight from the off.

Sekiwake Ama (10-4) made light work of fourth-ranked maegashira Goeido (7-7) with an arm-lock throw, reaching double-digit wins with his third victory in as many days. But Kotoshogiku lost (6-8) his eighth bout and will be demoted from the sekiwake rank as No. 5 maegashira Miyabiyama yanked him down to the surface.

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