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Monday, May 18, 2009
Hakuho stays perfect after convincing win
Yokozuna Hakuho dished out a royal beating of rank-and-filer Tamanoshima on Sunday to remain undefeated with an 8-0 record in his bid to win back-to-back titles at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
Harumafuji also stayed perfect to share the lead with the yokozuna after prevailing in a rumble with fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai, revving up the engine as he aims for his first career Emperor's Cup.
Yokozuna Asashoryu trails at 7-1 entering the final week of the 15-day meet along with ozeki Kaio and rank-and-filer Kisenosato after disposing of sekiwake Goeido in the day's final bout.
Hakuho was the picture of invincibility as he manhandled Tamanoshima at will before carefully ushering him over the edge at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Tamanoshima, a No. 3 maegashira, slipped to 2-6.
Hakuho, who is in the hunt for his 11th career title, extended his winning streak to a personal-best 28 bouts after capturing the spring title with an undefeated 15-0 mark.
Harumafuji absorbed a fierce charge at the face-off but regrouped for a counterattack as he shoved his opponent out while falling over the edge. Chiyotaikai, who is in danger of losing his ozeki status for a record 13th time, dropped to 5-3.
Asashoryu wasted little time with Goeido, wrapping both arms over the sekiwake's back before pulling him forward to the dirt surface. Goeido fell to an even 4-4.
Bulgarian Kotooshu was the lone wrestler from sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki to bite the dust.
Kotooshu took Kakuryu's bait hook, line and sinker after he blindly charged forward while the newly promoted komusubi sidestepped after the face-off, leaving him on 5-3. Kakuryu improved to 3-5.
Veteran Kaio showed his experience against Tochiozan (2-6), circling around to control the momentum of the charging komusubi before executing a perfectly timed arm throwing technique.
Kotomitsuki got a firm belt grip on Toyonoshima (2-6) before bellying the No. 3 maegashira over the ridge to see his slate improve to six wins against two defeats.
Estonian sekiwake Baruto put Homasho in a bear hug before heaving the No. 1 maegashira out to an eighth consecutive defeat, improving his own mark to 3-5.