Yokozuna Hakuho bounced back from his stunning first-day loss with a solid win on May 7 at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, while three of the record six ozeki--including newcomer Kakuryu--fell to upsets.
Hakuho, who is trying to win his 23rd title and the 50th championship for a Mongolian, lifted top maegashira Aran off his feet and set him down outside the ring in Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan for a convincing victory. In sharp contrast to his clumsy opening-day performance, the yokozuna appeared to be his normal self again, confident and strong.
Estonia's Baruto fumbled at the face-off but came right back and drove out top maegashira Takayasu before the rising young wrestler could find any viable openings. Baruto remains the man to watch if Hakuho doesn't get back into stride, and the first week will be his proving ground. So far, he is looking good.
Kisenosato, another potential contender, kept his cool and warded off several attacks by komusubi Aminishiki, who upset Hakuho on the opening day. Although Kisenosato was a bit on the passive side, when Aminishiki overextended on a thrust he was quick to twist his opponent down and claim win No. 2.
Kotoshogiku, driving hard all the way, forced komusubi Homasho out of the ring for his second win. He was never challenged, although he couldn't quite manage to get inside for the belt.
Things didn't go very well for the other ozeki.
Kakuryu lost his first bout at his new rank. He failed to keep up with No. 2 maegashira Myogiryu, who kept him on the outside and recovered from a close call with a series of his own potent thrusts. Kakuryu may be feeling the pressure of his new post--he can certainly fight better, and he was visibly disappointed with himself afterward.
Harumafuji had to take a loss to No. 2 maegashira Gagamaru although he very nearly maneuvered his way out of the big Georgian's line of attack as the two went over the edge. Gagamaru fell forward as Harumafuji twisted away, but the Mongolian was already past the point of no return, and the referee judged that he had hit the ground first.
"My goal is to get my eight wins as quickly as I can, so I'm very happy,'' said Gagamaru, who improved to 1-1.
Sekiwake Goeido, also unbeaten so far, outlasted ozeki Kotooshu in a throwing duel, plunging the Bulgarian onto his right shoulder with a "sukui-nage,'' or beltless arm throw. Toyonoshima, the other sekiwake, took No. 3 maegashira Toyohibiki down to the dirt for his first win.
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