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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harumafuji cruises to second win in Nagoya

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Promotion-chasing ozeki Harumafuji overpowered Iwakiyama to make it two wins out of two at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
In control: Harumafuji eases Iwakiyama over the bales on the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

Harumafuji kicked off his bid to reach sumo's ultimate rank of yokozuna with a fiery win over Kisenosato on Sunday and the summer champion treated the crowd to another confident display at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

The wrestler formerly known as Ama weathered a flurry of slaps at the charge, getting both arms around Iwakiyama (1-1) before calmly waltzing the third-ranked maegashira over the straw bales.

Harumafuji has put himself in the frame to become the third Mongolian yokozuna after winning a playoff against compatriot Hakuho for his maiden title at the summer meet in May.

Seeking his 11th Emperor's Cup and first in two meets, title favorite Hakuho also won handsomely, wasting no time in pulling down top-ranked Goeido (1-1) by the back of the neck.

Asashoryu (2-0) came through unscathed in the day's final bout, the yokozuna seeing off a spirited challenge from Aran (0-2) in his first meeting with the top-ranked Russian maegashira. Asashoryu is aiming for his career 24th title here.

In other key bouts, sekiwake returnee Kisenosato rebounded from Sunday's loss by quickly barging out seemingly uninterested ozeki Chiyotaikai, leaving both men with 1-1 marks.

Ozeki Kotomitsuki (2-0) was equally efficient in his disposal of komusubi Kyokutenho (0-2) in the next bout, while ozeki Kaio flexed his muscles to score his first win of the meet against komusubi Kotoshogiku (0-2).

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