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Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012

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Down you go: Baruto (right) defeats Aminishiki on the sixth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO

Yokozuna Hakuho improves to 13-0 against Goeido


Yokozuna Hakuho outclassed Goeido to stay perfect through six days, leading an unbeaten group of three at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

Hakuho made it 13-for-13 against Goeido in the day's finale, never giving his opponent a chance as the Mongolian bulldozed the second-ranked maegashira to his fifth defeat at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho was joined at the top by ozeki Baruto and Kotooshu, who barely broke a sweat in improving to 6-0.

Trailing the trio — all foreigners — at 5-1 were ozeki Harumafuji and Kisenosato, sekiwake Kakuryu and a pair of No. 13 maegashira, Chiyonokuni and Tenkaiho.

While Baruto batted away Aminishiki like a fly en route to the Estonian's 13th career win over the top-ranked maegashira, Kotooshu was nearly upset by komusubi Wakakoyu, who remains winless at this tournament.

Wakakoyu tried to blitz Kotooshu from the tachiai, pushing the Bulgarian onto the ropes, but the ozeki's last-gasp swat-down kept him out of the loss column.

Kakuryu continued to state his case for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank with a tough win over ozeki Harumafuji.

Harumafuji owned bragging rights going into the match with a past record of 15-5 against Kakuryu, who had been tripped up by Kisenosato on Thursday.

But Kakuryu, determined to stay in contention, barreled into Harumafuji from the start and never looked back, lifting his man out of the ring for the victory.

"I'd always struggled at the tachiai against the ozeki, so I wanted to make sure to come out strong," Kakuryu said. "I was able to wrestle at my best today, and I just have to keep winning. I can't afford to lose."

Kisenosato stayed one off the pace by taking out top-ranked maegashira Takekaze (1-5), while ozeki Kotoshogiku (3-3) snapped a two-day skid by beating sekiwake Toyonoshima.

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