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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hakuho, Harumafuji remain locked for lead

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho remained on course for his second consecutive Emperor's Cup with a clinical dismantling of Goeido at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Strictly business: Asashoryu takes care of Chiyotaikai at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

After failing to see off Goeido (4-5) with route-one sumo, Hakuho switched tactics and drew the sekiwake debutant into his lair and flipped him over to preserve his flawless 9-0 record at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Victory extended Hakuho's winning streak to 29 bouts and kept him in a share of the lead with Mongolian ozeki Harumafuji.

Seeking his 24th Emperor's Cup, Asashoryu kept his front-running compatriots in his sights and moved to 8-1 in second place alongside rank-and-filer Kisenosato.

Harumafuji, the wrestler formerly known as Ama, went straight in for the kill and made short work of veteran ozeki Kaio, who dropped to 7-2.

Meanwhile, Asashoryu oozed class in the day's penultimate bout, the yokozuna weathering a fierce charge from Chiyotaikai (5-4) before lifting the relegation-threatened ozeki off his feet and blasting him out of the ring.

At ozeki, Kotooshu (6-3) returned to winning ways after Sunday's surprise defeat to Kakuryu, the Bulgarian pin-up quickly getting both hands on the back of Kyokutenho's (3-6) belt to shunt the No. 2 maegashira over the straw ridge.

Kotomitsuki (7-2) was equally impressive in the following bout, the baby-faced grappler steamrolling out third-ranked Tamanoshima (2-7) for a textbook "yorikiri" force-out win.

In other bouts, Estonian tower block Baruto got mugged by top-ranked maegashira Aminishiki at the ring's edge and the sekiwake stepped out to a sixth loss. Aminishiki also has a 3-6 mark.

Mongolian Kakuryu claimed komusubi bragging rights after seeing off with Tochiozan (2-7) with a pair of meaty neck thrusts to improve to 4-5.

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