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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hakuho moves within sight of title


Yokozuna Hakuho moved within grasp of a record-tying seventh consecutive title on Saturday after beating Estonian ozeki Baruto with a powerful display, but was forced to wait with a possible showdown looming against Georgian Tochinoshin on the final day of the May Technical Examination Tournament.

Hakuho rebounded from a loss to ozeki Harumafuji the previous day, giving him a 13-1 record, while Tochinoshin sent out sekiwake Kotoshogiku (9-5) in a frontal force-out to improve to a 12-2 mark at the 15-day Tokyo test meet.

In the day's final at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho and Baruto squared off in a grappling duel at the ring's center and the heavier ozeki was not about to go quietly.

But Hakuho stood firm against the ozeki's strong right-handed grip before getting his left hand on his opponent's mawashi and heaving all 184 kg of the behemoth over the straw bales. Baruto slipped to 10-4.

"I was able to get my left hand inside. He is a big opponent, so it was tough for sure," said Hakuho.

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