Kisenosato holds off challenge from Chiyonokuni in first duel

16 May


Kisenosato survived a scare and squeezed out his second win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, while fellow yokozuna Hakuho and Harumafuji kept their perfect record intact after three days.

Kisenosato was on the back foot throughout against No. 1 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-2), who handed yokozuna Kakuryu his second defeat a day earlier.

After charging low, Chiyonokuni didn’t give Kisenosato time to breathe and had the yokozuna teetering by a foot on the straw bales at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

But the difference in size showed as Chiyonokuni failed to produce one, last vital push. Kisenosato recovered, and Chiyonokuni’s ill-timed pull-down gave the yokozuna room to take advantage as Chiyonokuni was pushed out in their first career meeting.

Record title-holder Hakuho made it three out of three after flooring No. 2 Chiyoshoma (1-2). The 37-time champion slapped the fellow Mongolian off the tachiai before easily grabbing the belt for an overarm throw in another first-time encounter.

Harumafuji also earned his third win with a solid force-out over No. 2 Okinoumi (0-3), quickly grabbing the front of the belt and jostling him off the raised ring.

Kakuryu (1-2) opened this meet with two sloppy defeats and a third seemed to be on the horizon when Endo (1-2) barged him toward the ridge. But the top-ranked maegashira lost his balance to a desperate pull-down from Kakuryu as all four yokozuna won on the same day for the first time this tournament.

Ozeki Terunofuji collected his first win of the meet after dismissing No. 3 Daieisho (0-3) with ease, but the other ranked ozeki, Goeido, suffered his second loss after falling to veteran komusubi Yoshikaze (2-1).

Goeido needs a winning record here to keep his ozeki status after pulling out of the spring tourney in March with an ankle injury.

Chasing promotion to ozeki, Takayasu (3-0) had no issues in dispatching hapless sekiwake Kotoshogiku (0-3). The former ozeki easily backed off after the initial charge from a lively Takayasu before finding himself on the dirt.

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