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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hakuho, Baruto still lead the way

Kyodo News

Fooling this yokozuna is not in the cards.

News photo
Whirling dervish: Harumafuji (left) pushes Kakuryu over the straw bales on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho overpowered Tochinoshin to stay on course in his bid for consecutive titles Saturday, while Baruto also remained undefeated with a righteous pummeling of Miyabiyama on the seventh day of action at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

The lone yokozuna, who is gunning for his 14th Emperor's Cup, extended his winning streak to 24 bouts. Hakuho and Baruto are in a two-way tie for the lead with 7-0 records at the 15-day meet.

In the day's finale, Tochinoshin, who knocked off four consecutive ozeki from the second day, thought he might have a chance to dump Hakuho after swiftly darting to the left as the bout got under way at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

But Hakuho was not fazed for a second, avoiding Tochinoshin's (4-3) belt grasp and quickly regrouping for an emphatic frontal force-out of the Georgian No. 2 maegashira.

Baruto, promoted to sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki after an outstanding 14-1 mark at the spring meet, had no problems dispatching Miyabiyama with a fierce thrusting attack.

The Estonian former nightclub bouncer used his 187-kg frame to maximum effect to send the 180-kg Miyabiyama (2-5) sprawling over the edge in a matter of seconds.

In other key bouts involving ozeki, Harumafuji (5-2) came flying out of the crouch against fellow Mongolian Kakuryu (2-5) before pushing the No. 3 maegashira over the ridge with a flurry of shoves.

But Kaio (4-3) was rolled to his third straight defeat at the hands of Toyonoshima (2-5), who got both arms under the ozeki's armpits before twisting him down to the sandy surface.

The veteran ozeki remains five wins shy of his 1,000th career victory.

Kotomitsuki (4-3) wasted little time with Aminishiki (2-5), swatting down the sekiwake immediately after the faceoff.

Kotooshu (5-2) won a grappling match with Kisenosato (4-3), the Bulgarian ozeki using his superior height advantage to set up a perfectly timed overarm throw.

Earlier, Russian Aran was tossed to his second straight defeat by Tokusegawa (3-4) after winning his first five bouts.

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