OSAKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Hakuho flipped over Kotooshu to zero in on his 13th championship title, while Baruto all but guaranteed promotion to ozeki with a classy win at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
|In the hunt: Baruto, who is one win off the pace, drops Kotoshogiku to the dirt on Saturday in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka.
Hakuho (14-0) was all business in the day's final bout at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, wrapping Kotooshu (9-5) up at the charge before tossing the Bulgarian ozeki to the dirt with a trademark overarm throw.
The Mongolian yokozuna can bag the championship trophy with victory over ozeki and compatriot Harumafuji on the final day of the 15-day meet on Sunday.
In order to force a championship playoff and keep alive his hopes of becoming only the second European wrestler after Kotooshu to win the Emperor's Cup, Baruto (13-1) needs victory over ozeki Kotomitsuki coupled with a defeat for Hakuho.
Baruto took a leaf out of former ozeki Chiyotaikai's book with a textbook win over Kotoshogiku (9-5), stunning the third-ranked maegashira with a pair of vicious neck thrusts and finishing the job with the simplest of pulls.