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Harumafuji falls as other yokozuna scrape by

The Yomiuri Shimbun

No. 2 maegashira Shohozan, left, sends yokozuna Kakuryu sailing out of the ring, although he would be declared the loser on the second day of the New Year Grand Tournament on Monday in Tokyo.

The Japan News Yokozuna Harumafuji was dealt his first defeat just two days into the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, while fellow yokozuna Kakuryu and Hakuho survived scares of their own on Monday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

No. 1 maegashira Mitakeumi collected his first career kinboshi — awarded for a victory by a rank-and-file wrestler over a yokozuna — when he stood his ground against Harumafuji’s under-handed belt throw attempt and shuffled him out of the ring before the sellout national holiday crowd.

Earlier, Kakuryu, winner of the previous Kyushu tournament, dodged a bullet when a replay reversed what would have been his first defeat.

Kakuryu had initially been ruled the loser of his bout with No. 2 maegashira Shohozan, whose desperate arm lock and throw at the edge sent the two wrestlers sailing out of the ring together.

But upon further review, the judges determined that Shohozan’s foot landed out of the ring before Kakuryu splashed down, keeping the yokozuna’s perfect record against the maegashira intact with his 11th win in 11 career meetings.

Hakuho’s victory over No. 1 maegashira Takarafuji was also not without a stutter, as he was momentarily pushed up to the edge before reversing the situation and shuffling his opponent out.

Meanwhile, Kisenosato remained the only one of the four ozeki still unbeaten as Kotoshogiku was dealt his first defeat, while Terunofuji made it two losses in a row.

Kisenosato, still looking for his first career title, chalked up his second win when he pushed out sekiwake Tamawashi, who dropped to 1-1 in his debut at the third-highest rank at age 32.

Kotoshogiku, who needs a majority of wins to retain his rank, seemed to be in control of his match with No. 3 maegashira Okinoumi by keeping him constantly fighting at the edge, but was suddenly twisted down as he pressed ahead.

Terunofuji was trying to gain his favored belt hold with komusubi Takayasu (1-1) when he got bent over too much and was simply slapped down to the dirt.

The fourth ozeki, Goeido, evened his record at 1-1 when he flung down komusubi Tochinoshin (0-2).

The other sekiwake, Shodai, picked up his first win by forcing out No. 2 maegashira Arawashi. Shodai is also making his first appearance at the rank, having skipped over komusubi and being promoted from No. 3 maegashira.Speech

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