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Friday, Sept. 24, 2010

Hakuho beats Kaio for 59th straight victory

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho outclassed Kaio on Thursday, improving his mind-boggling winning streak to 59 bouts at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho, 12-0 at the 15-day Tokyo meet, passed his first test against sumo's second-highest rank with flying colors to move within reach of his 16th Emperor's Cup.

Rank-and-filers Yoshikaze and Takekaze sit two adrift while Bulgarian Kotooshu slipped to a third defeat on another day when the ozeki wrestlers failed to deliver the goods.

The lone yokozuna can wrap up the title on Friday if he defeats Estonian ozeki Baruto and both Yoshikaze and Takekaze lose.

In the day's final at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho kept Kaio (6-6) at bay with a series of shoves before getting his left hand under the ozeki's armpit and sliding him over the edge. Kaio was the last wrestler to beat Hakuho on the 13th day of the New Year meet in January before the yokozuna began his historic run.

But the yokozuna is in a completely different zone now, aiming for an unprecedented fourth consecutive championship undefeated.

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