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Monday, July 18, 2011
Hakuho takes care of business
Harumafuji tied for first place after eighth day at Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament
NAGOYA — Hakuho inched closer to an unprecedented eighth consecutive title on Sunday with a demolition of Aminishiki, while Harumafuji pulverized Okinoumi to also remain undefeated on the eighth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho and Harumafuji share the lead at 8-0 with five wrestlers, including ozeki Baruto, hot in pursuit as the first week wrapped up with 7-1 records.
Yokozuna Hakuho swiftly disposed of Aminishiki, toppling his opponent, after a short exchange of shoves in the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
The lone yokozuna is seeking his 20th career Emperor's Cup and at this point appears unstoppable at the 15-day meet, which is the first regular tourney in six months following a match-fixing scandal that brought sumo to its knees.
Ozeki Harumafuji tossed aside Okinoumi (5-3) with an overarm throwing technique after rattling the No. 3 maegashira's cage with some hefty shoves to the chest.
Relegation-threatened Kotooshu backtracked immediately at the face-off and was shoved over by Goeido, but ringside judges ruled later that the ozeki's heel had remained in the ring as Goeido (1-7) slipped over the edge.
In other key matches, Kisenosato (5-3) sent Yoshikaze (1-7) reeling with a barrage of shoves.
Meanwhile, fellow sekiwake Kotoshogiku (7-1) forced out veteran ozeki Kaio (3-5), who became the all-time career wins leader on the fifth day.
Kotoshogiku is up for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank, if he can notch at least 12 wins here and remain in the title race.
Homasho continued his hot streak, sending Tokitenku (4-4) retreating over the edge in a textbook frontal force out to remain one behind the co-leaders.
The hefty Gagamaru (2-6) crumbled to the dohyo surface after being pulled off balance by Tamawashi, who improved to 2-6.
In Japan's traditional sport, the spring meet was cancelled in March after the bout-rigging scandal broke in February and a technical examination tourney was held in place of the summer basho in May.