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Friday, July 24, 2009

Hakuho, Kotooshu set to meet for top billing

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho rebounded from a shock first defeat to overpower veteran ozeki Kaio and retain his share of the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

News photo
Out you go: Yokozuna Asashoryu manhandles ozeki Kotomitsuki during 12th day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. KYODO PHOTO

Stunned by local favorite Kotomitsuki on Wednesday, Hakuho had to keep his wits about him in the day's penultimate bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, but the yokozuna pulled through to send Kaio (6-6) backpedaling out and stay tied with Kotooshu at 11-1 with three days of the 15-day basho remaining.

Kotooshu, who meets Hakuho next, also returned to winning ways to stay in the hunt for the championship hardware, the Bulgarian ozeki shrugging off a pair of neck thrusts from Miyabiyama (6-6) before calmly pulling the No. 4 maegashira down to the dirt.

In the day's featured bout, Kotomitsuki came up short in his bid to claim another yokozuna scalp despite a valiant effort, and got muscled out to a second defeat by Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu, who improved to 9-3.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Aminishiki got sent tumbling to the dirt by sixth-ranked Tamanoshima (8-4) and dropped two wins off the pace alongside Asashoryu, Harumafuji, who railroaded fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai (6-6), and rank-and-filer Shotenro.

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