SUMO/ Kisenosato rebounds to keep pace with Hakuho, Harumafuji on Day 5

September 13, 2012

AJW

Defending champion Harumafuji and lone yokozuna Hakuho cruised to their fifth wins at the Autumn Grand Sumo Touranment on Sept. 13 as ozeki Kisenosato turned up the heat after a weak start to keep his record spotless as well.

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it bout, Harumafuji jumped out to the side and shoved a confused komusubi Tochinoshin out of bounds. It was an effective trick, but one the Mongolian had best get out of his system now; if he pulls that in the final bouts, he will be roundly criticized, since it is considered a less-honorable way of winning than taking your opponent head-on.

Even so, at 5-0, Harumafuji is starting to look more like a real contender for promotion. Having won the last tournament with a perfect 15-0 record, Harumafuji will be assured of promotion if he comes through for the championship again this time out. He could also be considered for promotion if he wins at least 13 bouts.

Hakuho also had an easy bout, shutting down komusubi Aoiyama with his devastating thrusts before he could pose a credible threat. The Mongolian yokozuna is looking to outshine Harumafuji after coming out the loser in their final day showdown in July, and claim his 23rd career title.

Coming back from a weak face-off, co-leader Kisenosato used his superior power and a better belt hold to grapple No. 2 maegashira Gagamaru over the edge. The giant Georgian jumped the gun to force a restart, then came out surprisingly quick, catching Kisenosato a bit flat-footed. His lead was short-lived, however, and Kisenosato was never really in any trouble. Gagamaru is 2-3.

In his third straight loss, ozeki Kotooshu was drilled into the ground by No. 3 maegashira Toyonoshima. The two both attempted throws and then slowly pushed each other down, but Toyonoshima (2-3) had Kotooshu's right arm in a lock, and used that to force him to the dirt. The move left Kotooshu grimacing in pain afterward. At 2-3, the Bulgarian is not having a good tournament.

Ozeki Kakuryu bounced back from his loss the day before to claim a solid victory over No. 2 maegashira Aran. Though the Russian fought hard for the belt, Kakuryu maneuvered into a better attacking position and drove him out. Kakuryu is 4-1, while Aran has not yet won a bout.

New sekiwake Myogiryu, off to a great start with only one loss, slapped top maegashira Shohozan off balance as the two traded blows near center ring. Shohozan is fighting with a lot of spirit, but has been taking on the top wrestlers and so far has just one win, over Kotooshu.

Brazil's Kaisei, fighting at the top maegashira position, his highest rank yet, marked a big win over sekiwake Goeido. Kaisei used his weight advantage well to keep the pressure on Goeido, who failed twice to throw him off balance. As Goeido wound up a throw, the 194-centimeter-tall, 186-kilogram Kaisei plowed him down face first into the dirt.

Both wrestlers are 2-3.

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Ozeki Kisenosato, right, pushes maegashira Gagamaru out of the ring at the Autumn Grand Sumo Touranment on Sept. 13 in Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

Ozeki Kisenosato, right, pushes maegashira Gagamaru out of the ring at the Autumn Grand Sumo Touranment on Sept. 13 in Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

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  • Ozeki Kisenosato, right, pushes maegashira Gagamaru out of the ring at the Autumn Grand Sumo Touranment on Sept. 13 in Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
  • Yokozuna Hakuho dumps komusubi Aoiyama on Sept. 13. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
  • Ozeki Harumafuji drives out komusubi Tochinoshin on Sept. 13. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)

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