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Saturday, May 22, 2010
Yokozuna Hakuho earns 14th Emperor's Cup
Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho beat ozeki Kotomitsuki to claim his 14th career Emperor's Cup with two days to spare, maintaining his undefeated record at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.
With the title victory, Hakuho tied former yokozuna Wajima for sixth best on sumo's all-time list.
"I just wrestled as I normally do. He hit hard but I got my right hand in, so I was able to control the bout. It feels good," Hakuho said about winning on the 13th day. "I was able to use my experience from last meet as the lone yokozuna. I think my training before the meet paid off."
Competitively speaking, the 15-day Tokyo meet turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment with Hakuho putting on a one-man show from start to finish in dominant fashion.
In the day's final, Hakuho allowed Kotomitsuki to get his hand inside for a firm grip but never lost his composure even after being pushed to the ring's edge at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
He deployed a perfectly timed armlock throw technique to dispose of the ozeki and improve his record to 13-0, extending his winning streak to 30 bouts after claiming the spring title with a perfect 15-0 mark in March. Kotomitsuki fell to a dismal 7-6 record.
Hakuho, who has been the sole yokozuna since countryman Asashoryu retired in February, has a personal best 33-bout winning streak.
"I've done that twice before (30 straight wins). I'm not giving it that much thought," said Hakuho.
Russian Aran, a No. 10 maegashira who remained in the title race up until Friday, heaved out Mongolian Hakuba (9-4) in a match pitting wrestlers with three losses to pick up his 10th win.
Georgian Tochinoshin, who defeated four of the five ozeki here, moved one win away from a majority of wins after waiting for the perfect moment to lift out Kyokutenho, (7-6).
In an ozeki encounter, Bulgarian Kotooshu (9-4) blew away injury-hit Mongolian Harumafuji (9-4) at the faceoff, charging his opponent over the edge in a matter of seconds. Harumafuji is nursing a bad knee.
Newly promoted ozeki Baruto (9-4) swatted down ozeki hopeful Kisenosato (7-6) immediately after the faceoff, triggering jeers from the crowd for going for the easy win.
Veteran Kaio dodged a bullet when he backpedaled to the edge against Mongolian Kakuryu before slapping the No. 3 maegashira to his eighth defeat to move one win from a winning record.