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Friday, March 19, 2010

Baruto stays in hunt

OSAKA (Kyodo) It wasn't pretty, but sekiwake Baruto disposed of Wakanosato to retain his share of the lead alongside yokozuna Hakuho in his chase for ozeki promotion at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

The sekiwake giant came flying out of the crouch and almost lost his footing as he tipped off-balance but regrouped to get a hand under his opponent's armpit before toppling the former sekiwake at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Baruto, who needs at least 13 wins to be considered for sumo's second-highest rank, improved to 5-0 to remain tied with Hakuho, ozeki Harumafuji and two rank-and-file wrestlers.

Hakuho let Kisenosato come on the assault with a barrage of slaps but was never fazed as he waited for the perfect moment to slap the komusubi forward onto the dirt surface.

At the ozeki rank, Kotomitsuki got back on track in the battle to save his rank after a loss to Goeido on Wednesday.

Kotomitsuki, who needs at least eight wins to keep his ozeki status, wasted little time after first impact, swatting down Mongolian Kakuryu to improve to 3-2. Kakuryu, a No. 1 maegashira, slipped to 1-4.

Veteran Kaio (3-2), competing in his record 100th meet at sumo's top flight, sent komusubi Aminishiki (1-4) sprawling.

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