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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hakuho bounces back after defeat in opener


Kakuryu was the biggest casualty of the ozeki rank in a stunning defeat to rank-and-filer Myogiryu, and yokozuna Hakuho rebounded from a first-day loss at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament Monday.

The six ozeki who all won on opening day looked on course for a role reversal with the first three tumbling like dominoes before Kotoshogiku, Kisenosato, and Baruto saved the ozeki pride to remain undefeated.

Hakuho, who got both hands around Russian Aran (0-2) before heaving his opponent over the ridge in the day's final bout, took a step closer toward his 23rd career title following his defeat to Aminishiki on Sunday.

The battle was a lost cause for Kakuryu when he was staggered by Myogiryu at the face-off at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the newly promoted Mongolian ozeki trying his best to regroup with an arm tug of his opponent to no avail.

Kakuryu was promoted to sumo's second-highest rank after posting a 13-2 record at the Spring Basho in March, and he came within arm's reach of his first career title before losing to yokozuna Hakuho in a playoff.

"I just wanted to keep up the charge," Myogiryu said. "I was able to stand my ground against him and move forward.

"I have to see how far I can get in this basho," added Myogiryu, who improved to 1-1.

Mongolian Harumafuji, meanwhile, could do nothing to stop the charge of heavyweight Georgian Gagamaru (1-1), who lunged at the face-off to take out the ozeki in a matter of seconds.

Kotooshu was the third to tumble when he was brought down by Goeido's beltless arm throw.

"I went with the flow on that throw. I saw Myogiryu win before my match, and I was able to focus myself," said Goeido, now 2-0.

Kotoshogiku wasted little time bellying out Homasho (0-2) for his second straight victory.

Kisenosato shoved yokozuna-killer Aminishiki (1-1) with his left hand in a nonstop assault before sending the komusubi tumbling with a thrust down technique.

Baruto made mincemeat of Takayasu (0-2), getting his right hand inside for an upper-handed grip on the mawashi and tearing through his opponent for a quick win.

The official summer meet is being held for the first time in two years after last year's basho was made free to the public as a technical "test" tournament in the wake of a match-fixing scandal.

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