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Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2011

Kotoshogiku rebounds; Hakuho takes sole lead


Kotoshogiku rebounded from a first loss the previous day with a demolition of Tokitenku to get his ozeki promotion bid back on course on the ninth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Flat out: Baruto throws Kisenosato from the ring at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

Kotoshogiku improved to an 8-1 mark to stay hot on the heals of lone yokozuna Hakuho, who claimed the sole lead as the only wrestler still undefeated at 9-0 with six days remaining at the 15-day meet.

Rival sekiwake Kisenosato, meanwhile, had a chance to pull off a big win against Estonian goliath Baruto to stay in a share of the lead but was brought back to earth after being tossed over the edge by the ozeki with an overarm throw for his first defeat.

Kotoshogiku, Kisenosato and rank-and-filer Gagamaru of Georgia sit one off the pace.

Hakuho, who is seeking his 20th career title, made his bout against Georgian Tochinoshin (4-5) look like child's play, the yokozuna moving swiftly inside for a grip on his opponent's mawashi before propelling him out of the ring at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kotoshogiku, who fell to rival sekiwake Kakuryu on Sunday, was nearly as devastating when he used an armlock to immobilize Tokitenku (4-5) and ushered the No. 4 maegashira out in dominant fashion.

"I had to adjust my start at the face-off from yesterday. I charged straight without hesitation. I want to keep up the same momentum," said Kotoshogiku, who is aiming to become the first Japanese ozeki since Kaio, who retired at the Nagoya basho in July.

Yokozuna hopeful Harumafuji, who has all but dashed his chances for promotion this time after losing four of his first seven bouts, won two straight for the first time here, using a leg trip to topple Mongolian countryman Kakuryu, who slipped to a 4-5 slate.

Kakuryu had come into the Tokyo meet up for promotion to ozeki along with Kotoshogiku, but has produced lackluster results thus far.

Kisenosato, who won eight in a row from the first day for the first time in his career, backed the ozeki to the edge, only to lose his grip as Baruto (7-2) used his right hand to fling his opponent into the ringside cushions.

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