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Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012

Kotooshu exits basho with injury


As Bulgarian Kotooshu became the latest ozeki injury casualty to pull out of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, Harumafuji stood tall for sumo's second rank Friday, delivering another convincing win to stay unbeaten on the sixth day of action in Tokyo.

Back on the yokozuna promotion trail following his 15-0 championship win in Nagoya in July, the tricky Mongolian paved the way for victory by knocking back Homasho (4-2) with a hard opening charge, and then picked his moment to draw in the third-ranked maegashira and haul him to the dirt to retain his share of a five-way lead.

Yokozuna Hakuho, ozeki Kisenosato, evergreen maegashira Kyokutenho and rank-and-filer Takayasu are also at 6-0.

The ozeki rank was cut to three wrestlers earlier in the day when Kotooshu (2-4) withdrew with a right shoulder injury he sustained when he was sentenced to a third straight defeat against Toyonoshima on Thursday. He lost Friday's scheduled bout against Brazilian-born grappler Kaisei (3-3) by default.

A losing record here for Kotooshu would force him to wrestle with his ozeki rank on the line for a fifth time at the Kyushu meet in November. Estonian ozeki Baruto (toe) and Kotoshogiku (knee) both withdrew through injury on Wednesday.

It is the first time three ozeki have pulled out during a meet since Kaio, Chiyotaikai and Miyabiyama at the 2001 Autumn Basho.

Hakuho, meanwhile, kept his sights on a 23rd Emperor's Cup with a routine "sukuinage" beltless arm throw win over maegashira Gagamaru (2-4).

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