The battle for the lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament stayed neck-and-neck on March 20, with all of the leading wrestlers winning their bouts.
Yokozuna Hakuho, ozeki Baruto and sekiwake Kakuryu all have just one loss apiece after 10 days. No. 16 maegashira Shotenro, another Mongolian, on the same 9-1 record. Shotenro has not had to face any top wrestlers yet because of his low ranking.
After his loss the day before, Hakuho fought a rather cautious bout against sekiwake Aminishiki, who is known as a giant-killer. The yokozuna pulled back a couple of times after moving in for thrusting attacks, carefully looking for his opening. When he found it, he drove inside for the belt and tossed Aminishiki to the ground.
Showing his outstanding strength, Baruto flipped komusubi Tochiozan to the dirt even though he failed to get a good hold on the belt. The Estonian’s win was never in doubt.
He has been gaining momentum at a crucial time of his career. As defending champion, he could get promotion to yokozuna if he takes the title come Sunday.
Kakuryu played it safe against top maegashira Tochinowaka, going in low for the belt and working his way forward until he had the win sealed. He was driven back once, but regained his position without much trouble and took over the match. The sekiwake is still on quite a roll, with just one loss to Kisenosato, and is on track to get his promotion.
Harumafuji took Kotoshogiku down easily at the center of the ring. The two hit hard and straight at the face-off, but the Mongolian maneuvered to the side and Kotoshogiku continued to lunge forward. With one thrust, Harumafuji had him on the ground. He is now 8-2, while Kotoshogiku drops to 7-3.
Kisenosato was way too much for top maegashira Myogiryu, who is 3-7 as he finishes up his matches against ozeki and yokozuna opponents. The ozeki was on top form and battered him with a series of thrusts that had him flying out of the ring before he could put up much of a fight. Even so, Kisenosato has just six wins and, other than his win over Kakuryu, hasn't been much of a factor this tournament, his second at the rank.
Also well out of the title race, Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (6-4) fell to another costly defeat, this time at the hands of No. 4 maegashira Toyonoshima. Kotooshu was caught leaning too far forward and could not stay on his feet as Toyonoshima (7-3) pulled back and moved to the side.
"I think I had a good face-off, but he pushed in after that,'' Toyonoshima said. "I was happy to get the win.''
Georgian komusubi Gagamaru pushed out No. 2 maegashira Tokitenku for his third win. After a tough start, Gagamaru is looking to build up his record now that he is facing lower-ranking adversaries. He is unlikely to be able to hold onto his new rank, however.
- « Prev
- Next »