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Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Hakuho dominant in victory

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Hakuho looked to be back to his frightening best Wednesday, mauling second-ranked maegashira Aminishiki to stay one win off the early pace at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Looking to erase the disappointment of missing out on the all-time consecutive wins record, the Mongolian yokozuna (3-1) put on a sumo clinic in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, getting a firm left-handed grip on Aminishiki's mawashi before ushering him out of the dohyo.

Hakuho found himself back at square one on Monday after a surprise loss to Kisenosato snapped his 63-match winning streak and wrecked his bid to surpass the all-time run of 69 set by legendary yokozuna Futabayama from 1936-1939.

The 25-year-old, who has been unchallenged since compatriot and former yokozuna Asashoryu retired in February, is seeking his 17th Emperor's Cup.

Estonian ozeki Baruto has a perfect 4-0 record along with rank-and-filers Okinoumi and Shotenro.

Baruto showed no signs of cracking and muscled his way past top-ranked Kotoshogiku (1-3) following a brief mid-ring stalemate. But Kotooshu dropped to 2-2, the Bulgarian getting spun head over heels by popular maegashira Homasho (3-1).

"I managed to get in low at the charge and was able to carry out my plan of attack," said third-ranked Homasho.

Veteran ozeki Kaio, meanwhile, had the crowd eating out of his hand again after the Fukuoka native escaped giant-killing Kisenosato's clutches and bumped him out from behind. Kaio has a 3-1 record while top-ranked Kisenosato dropped to 2-2.

Earlier in the day, Mongolian ozeki Harumafuji pulled out of the meet after hurting his right ankle in a defeat to Tochinoshin on Monday.



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