Ozeki Kisenosato moved into the sole lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on May 15 with a win over Kotooshu that puts him at 9-1 in what could still be a wide-open competition with lots of top-level showdowns yet to come.
No. 4 maegashira Tochiozan, who had shared the lead, was sent out to his second defeat by No. 7 maegashira Kyokutenho.
Kisenosato had some trouble bottling up Kotooshu (6-4) as the two went head-to-head from the start of their match at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. The Bulgarian was on the offensive most of the way, and had a couple of potentially dangerous chances until Kisenosato got inside with his right hand.
He used that hold and his more focused forward drive to seal the match.
Breaking his three-loss streak, yokozuna Hakuho demolished new ozeki Kakuryu, pounding into him and sending him out to improve to 6-4. Hakuho's meltdown was reportedly due to a fractured finger that he suffered in his opening-day loss to Aminishiki. Before his May 15 bout, he said that he wants to go the distance just the same. His win might help keep the yokozuna's spirits up.
Estonia's Baruto, meanwhile, once again fell back on his superhuman strength to lift rival Kotoshogiku off his feet at the edge. Kotoshogiku was a co-leader until his loss on May 14, but with the loss now shares a 7-3 record with Baruto, who is just starting to look like a real challenger. Kakuryu is also 7-3.
Grabbing his sixth win, Mongolia's Harumafuji went way down and almost touched the dirt as he yanked sekiwake Goeido, also 6-4, off balance and into a throw that put him flat on his back.
Sekiwake Toyonoshima was grappled out by a determined No. 2 maegashira Myogiryu. Struggling with five losses despite defeating four ozeki opponents, Myogiryu came out fast and furious and Toyonoshima was quickly reduced to a defensive--and futile--attempt to hold his ground. Both wrestlers are now 5-5.
Komusubi Aminishiki, 6-4, endured a painful barrage of thrusts and slaps from top maegashira Takayasu, who battered him around the ring before losing his balance and stumbling to his eighth loss.
Russia's top maegashira Aran finally got his first win, toppling komusubi Homasho with a throw. Homasho is also 1-9.
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