Yokozuna Hakuho and all the other top wrestlers except for ozeki Kotooshu breezed through the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on July 9 to remain unbeaten.
Hakuho took on top maegashira Kyokutenho, who pulled off a huge coup to win the previous tournament with a 12-3 record. This time, however, the 37-year-old isn't looking so stellar, and Hakuho quickly twisted him into a somersault.
Hakuho is looking to make up for his poor performance in May, when he lost five bouts in his worst showing as a yokozuna. He won decisively on July 9, but had to fight twice to get a clear victory over Toyonoshima in his opener. This is his 30th tournament at the top rank, and if he wins it will be his 23rd championship.
Leading the ozeki charge, Kotoshogiku came from behind after top maegashira Aminishiki had him in trouble. Aminishiki is known for his strength against the top wrestlers, and it looked like he might be at it again. He moved on Kotoshogiku's belt immediately after the face-off, and had the ozeki in retreat. But Kotoshogiku regained his composure and pushed his way to the win.
Estonia's ozeki Baruto went over komusubi Toyonoshima's right shoulder to get a belthold, then pushed forward with his belly as Toyonoshima struggled in vain to stay in the ring. The strategy was classic Baruto--fully utilizing his long arms and heavy body.
Ozeki Harumafuji flailed his way through new komusubi Myogiryu's defenses and sealed his win with a conventional drive-and-thrust combination. The Mongolian remained low and was on the offensive throughout the bout, but lacked accuracy until he got on the inside.
Sekiwake Goeido took Bulgaria's Kotooshu down with a throw to mark the first ozeki upset of the tournament. Kotooshu was the instigator in their throwing duel, but he lost his balance and had to touch his palm to keep from planting his face in the dirt.
"I figured he would try to keep me away, so I wanted to get inside,'' Goeido said. "It went very well.''
In their first face-off, ozeki Kakuryu absorbed a couple of painful slaps from No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama but kept his balance deftly and mounted a counterattack as the big young Bulgarian stumbled. He finished Aoiyama off by thrusting him out from behind.
Ozeki Kisenosato eased through his match against No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi without needing to take even one step back. Calm and focused, he came out solidly, moved in for the belt, adjusted his angle and bulled forward until the winless Okinoumi was out.
In other bouts, sekiwake Tochiozan won his first bout by driving No. 3 maegashira Wakakoyu over the edge.
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