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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kakuryu alone at top after Hakuho stumbles


OSAKA — Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho suffered a stunning defeat to bogeyman Kisenosato on Friday, allowing compatriot Kakuryu to take sole possession of the lead heading into the final weekend of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Sekiwake Kakuryu kept his hopes of a maiden title alive with victory over ozeki Kotoshogiku at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium and found himself one win clear at 12-1 after Hakuho (11-2) lost the plot to a wrestler that has so often been a thorn in his side in recent years.

Kakuryu can capture the championship on Saturday if he beats Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu and Hakuho loses to Harumafuji.

Estonian behemoth Baruto, meanwhile, rebounded from his third loss of the tournament and put a major dent in fellow ozeki Harumafuji's title aspirations, ramming the Mongolian (10-3) off the dohyo in a matter of seconds.

Victory, however, appears to have come too late for Baruto in his bid to win promotion to sumo's top rank of yokozuna.

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