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Saturday, March 20, 2010

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Kaio slaps down Kotoshogiku on Friday, the sixth day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. KYODO PHOTO

Sekiwake Baruto on target for promotion

OSAKA (Kyodo) Baruto ousted Toyonoshima to claim sekiwake bragging rights and keep his promotion bid firmly on track with a sixth win at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

Baruto stood firm as Toyonoshima (3-3) attempted to dismantle the Estonian skyscraper with a backward leg trip and yanked his opponent to the dirt to preserve his unbeaten record and stay tied for the lead with yokozuna Hakuho, ozeki Harumafuji and No. 13 maegashira Tokitenku.

Baruto must post at least seven more wins to meet the Japan Sumo Association's loosely set requirement of 13 victories for promotion to ozeki.

Hakuho wrapped up the day's action at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium with an efficient frontal push-out victory against winless Russian maegashira Aran.

Ozeki Harumafuji cemented his place in the leading pack with a textbook force-out of fourth-ranked Tamawashi (3-3), while Kaio (4-2) ended third-ranked Kotoshogiku's unbeaten start with a routine "hatakikomi" slap-down win.

Elsewhere, Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu picked up his fifth win by default after his scheduled opponent, third-ranked Goeido, withdrew from the tournament earlier in the day.

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