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Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012

Yokozuna Hakuho suffers first defeat

Kyodo

Ozeki Harumafuji knocked the daylights out of Takayasu to remained undefeated Tuesday, but yokozuna Hakuho took a spill for his first loss at the hands of Tochiozan on the 10th day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Disappointed: Yokozuna Hakuho (front) walks out of the ring after a loss to Tochiozan on Tuesday at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo. KYODO

Harumafuji, who is making his third bid at promotion to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna after a 15-0 tour de force at the Nagoya Basho in July, improved to 10-0 with five days remaining at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho's defeat, meanwhile, was a major blow to the lone yokozuna who is seeking his 23rd career title.

Hakuho (9-1) is tied with ozeki Kisenosato and veteran maegashira Kyokutenho, who also fell out of a share of the overnight lead in a loss to ozeki Kakuryu.

In the day's penultimate bout, Harumafuji walloped Takayasu with a left hand to the face, causing the No. 9 maegashira's knees to buckle as he followed through with a powerful underarm throw. A dazed Takayasu, who had to be helped to his feet by the gyoji, slipped to 8-2.

In the day's final bout, Hakuho never got a grip on his opponent's mawashi when he lunged forward at the face-off and was abruptly sent sprawling with a smack-down.

"I just focused on not being late at the tachiai (face-off)," said Tochiozan, who got his first kinboshi, a maegashira victory over a yokozuna, in 15 bouts against Hakuho. "I tried not to let him get his right hand inside. I just want to continue to fight solid sumo with good tachiai."

Kisenosato bounced back from his defeat to Homasho on Monday, deploying a beltless arm throw against sekiwake Goeido (6-4) on the edge to stay hot on the heels of Harumafuji.

Earlier, Okinoumi was smacked down to a second defeat immediately out of the crouch by Aminishiki, who improved to 7-3.

Myogiryu (7-3) was stopped dead in his tracks by Tochinoshin (3-7) when his Georgian komusubi opponent got his left hand around on the mawashi and tackled the sekiwake over the edge in dynamic fashion.

Homasho (6-4), who has beaten three ozeki here, absorbed a salvo of thrusts from Yoshikaze (5-5) before getting a hold of his opponent for a firm frontal force-out.

The Autumn Basho is without ozeki trio Kotoshogiku, Baruto and Kotooshu, all of whom pulled out with injury.



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