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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hakuho unstoppable on basho's fourth day

Kyodo News

NAGOYA — Yokozuna Hakuho manhandled Russian rank-and-filer Aran on Wednesday to remain undefeated and in a share of the lead on the fourth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Overpowered: Yokozuna Hakuho forces out Aran at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho is tied for the early lead with ozeki Kotooshu and maegashira wrestlers Homasho and Kakuryu at the 15-day meet, which is being held under the specter of a gambling scandal rocking the ancient sport with alleged ties to the Japanese criminal underworld.

In the day's final, Hakuho moved Aran to the edge right at the charge but the No. 2 maegashira recovered briefly before the yokozuna lifted his opponent twice in the air and placed him softly over the edge. Aran slipped to a 1-3 mark.

Hakuho is building a case as a slam dunk for the sumo "Hall of Fame", his 36th consecutive win putting him in a share of fourth on the all-time list.

He still has a stretch to go before coming even close to former yokozuna great Futabayama's record 69-bout winning streak, but the lone yokozuna appears unstoppable in his bid to claim his 15th career title here.

Hakuho's next goal would be to reach the 45-bout winning streak achieved by former yokozuna Taiho.

Kotooshu sent Aminishiki (2-2) packing with a firm frontal takeout after once again letting an opponent shove him to the ring's edge.

The Bulgarian ozeki, however, was not to be denied as he swiftly shifted his hands in position for his favored right-leaning grip before calmly escorting the No. 2 maegashira over the ridge.

Harumafuji (1-3) was toppled to a second straight defeat at the hands of sekiwake Kotoshogiku (2-2) after getting another slow jump at the faceoff. Both wrestlers went flying into the ringside seats after the ozeki attempted a throwing technique.

In other action Baruto (2-2) toppled winless Asasekiryu.

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