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Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

Hakuho makes short work of Toyonoshima


By DAVE HUESTON
Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho brushed aside Toyonoshima in convincing fashion on the second day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Hakuho met Toyonoshima for the first time since beating him in a playoff on the final day of the Kyushu meet last November after the pair finished with 14-1 records in regulation.

But in the final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho never gave his smaller opponent a chance, getting his right hand inside on the top-ranked maegashira's mawashi before thrashing him over the edge with a powerful thrusting technique.

Hakuho, who is aiming to become the third man in history to win six consecutive titles, is seeking his 18th Emperor's Cup at the 15-day Tokyo meet.

It was a day of mixed blessings for sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki.

Veteran Kaio was the first of two ozeki to bite the dust during the day's action.

The 38-year-old was sent out by Aminishiki, who moved to the side immediately after the face-off to get a solid grip on the back of his opponent's mawashi. Both men are at 1-1.

Demotion-threatened Harumafuji, meanwhile, held his ground after being backed to the edge by Yoshikaze (0-2), maneuvering deftly around the No. 2 maegashira before countering with a powerful lift out.

Harumafuji pulled out of the Kyushu meet with a right ankle injury and must post eight wins here to maintain his ozeki status.

Bulgarian Kotooshu was once again a push over, coming too high out of the crouch as he was sent sprawling over the ridge by komusubi Tochiozan, who improved to the same 1-1 mark.

But Estonian ozeki Baruto rebounded from a first-day loss, getting both hands on the back of Mongolian Kakuryu's mawashi before heaving the komusubi over the straw bales from the center of the ring to the amazement of the crowd.

Chinese rank-and-filer Sokokurai wrapped up Toyozakura (0-2) in the first bout of the day with a fierce shove out maneuver to pick up his second straight win.



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