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Monday, Sep. 19, 2011

Kotoshogiku slumps to first defeat of basho


Kakuryu took his frustrations out on Kotoshogiku, sending his sekiwake rival to his first defeat on the eighth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

News photo
Face the music: Kotoshogiku winces as Kakuryu lifts him out of the ring at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday. KYODO

Mongolian Kakuryu got his left hand inside for a tight grasp on Kotoshogiku's mawashi before grinding his opponent over the edge in a matter of seconds to improve to an even 4-4 slate at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Yokozuna Hakuho, meanwhile, bulldozed Tochiozan (6-2) in a lopsided affair to stay undefeated with an 8-0 mark in a two-way tie for the lead with sekiwake Kisenosato.

With both Kotoshogiku and Kakuryu chasing ozeki promotion going into the 15-day meet, Kotoshogiku had been on a roll while Kakuryu all but ruined his shot for a move up to sumo's second-highest rank after suffering four losses in the first week of action.

Based on sumo's loose guidelines, sekiwake wrestlers need to post at least 33 wins over three consecutive tournaments to be considered for promotion, meaning Kakuryu would likely have to win all of his remaining bouts to remain a viable candidate after winning 22 bouts in the previous two meets.

Kotoshogiku is hoping to fill the void left by Kaio, who was the last remaining Japanese ozeki before he hung up his mawashi at the Nagoya basho in July.

Back in the ring, Kisenosato unleashed a barrage of slaps against Miyabiyama (4-4) before slapping his opponent forward onto the dirt surface to maintain his perfect slate.

"I'm happy. I am trying to move forward and I want to keep this pace up. I have to keep winning with a strong style of sumo," said Kisenosato, who started a tournament with eight straight wins for the first time in his career.

Harumafuji, who posted a 14-1 record to win the Nagoya meet and had been up for promotion to yokozuna before imploding over the first seven days, deployed a pulling overarm throw against Tokitenku (4-4) to pick up his fourth win.

Ozeki Baruto (6-2) won a battle with Tochinoshin (4-4), the Estonian goliath toppling the Georgian wrestler into the ringside cushions after both men attempted to heave each other off the dohyo surface at the center of the ring.

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