Hakuho still perfect after fourth day of tournament


Yokozuna Hakuho stayed unbeaten at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament after manhandling Chiyotairyu, while a pair of ozeki also maintained spotless records to stay in a tie for the early lead in Fukuoka on Wednesday.

Hakuho (4-0), who is gunning for his record 40th title, made quick work of the No. 2 maegashira as he wrapped his arms around his opponent and easily heaved him over the straw bales to a third defeat at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Fellow yokozuna Kisenosato (2-2), meanwhile, rued another bitter defeat in an ineffective display against top-ranked maegashira Takakeisho.

Hakuho is among five wrestlers who remain undefeated.

Kisenosato, who missed all or part of the past three tourneys due to injury, saw himself on the outs when Takakeisho (2-2) unleashed a fierce thrusting attack.

The Kyushu meet is taking place without Kakuryu, who withdrew due to injury, and fellow yokozuna Harumafuji, the winner of the September tourney.

Harumafuji was involved in a drunken brawl late last month that left fellow Mongolian competitor Takanoiwa hospitalized with serious injuries. The police have launched a probe after receiving a damage report from Takanoiwa’s stable master.

Takayasu (4-0), who is fighting as a demotion-threatened kadoban ozeki, received boisterous applause when he beat No. 3 maegashira Shohozan (2-2) in a bout lasting more than a minute.

Takayasu needs to post four more wins in order to maintain his rank.

Goeido (4-0), who lost to Harumafuji in a playoff on the final day of the Autumn tournament, remains in contention for his second championship after beating No. 1 maegashira Tamawashi (2-2).

Earlier in the day, two maegashira who entered the day with perfect records had an anticlimactic finish when Arawashi (3-1) stepped over the edge while throwing Ichinojo (4-0) in dramatic fashion.

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