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Harumafuji plunges to 2nd defeat

Jiji Press

No. 2 maegashira Sokokurai, right, keeps his feet in the ring long enough to allow yokozuna Harumafuji to plunge to his second defeat of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday in Osaka.

The Japan News Harumafuji was sent to his second defeat, while Kisenosato continued his impressive start to his debut as a yokozuna on Tuesday, the third day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Edion Arena Osaka.

A day after all four yokozuna won their bouts — the first time that had happened in 26 years — No. 2 maegashira Sokokurai prevented a recurrence with his win over Harumafuji.

Harumafuji, trying to get in the coup de grace, instead overextended himself and was sent plunging to the dirt as Sokokurai went into a quick retreat. It was Sokokurai’s first kinboshi, awarded to a maegashira-ranked wrestler for a victory over a yokozuna.

Kisenosato, kept away from the belt by No. 2 maegashira Takanoiwa, eventually tracked him down and shuffled him over the edge for his third win.

Meanwhile, yokozuna Kakuryu stayed unbeaten by outlasting No. 1 maegashira Ikioi. Sent back to the edge early in the bout, Kakuryu reversed the situation and used a two-handed belt hold to break his opponent’s resistance and force him over the edge.

Yokozuna Hakuho bided his time against No. 1 maegashira Takekaze, who he had beaten in 21 of 22 previous matches, before an opening developed and he forced his opponent out of the ring to improve to 2-1.

Ozeki Terunofuji, who needs a majority of wins to retain his rank, moved a step closer with win No. 3 when he patiently waited before setting up No. 3 maegashira Shohozan for a push out.

Komusubi Shodai (2-1), who defeated Hakuho on the opening day, pulled off another upset when he slammed down ozeki Goeido, who dropped to 1-2.

Goeido went on the offensive, but at the edge, Shodai twisted and pancaked the ozeki to the dirt.

In a battle of unbeaten sekiwake, Takayasu defeated Kotoshogiku for the fifth tournament in a row, twisting him down and dealing a blow in his bid to regain the ozeki rank. Kotoshogiku, demoted after the New Year tourney, needs 10 wins to move back into the second-highest rank.

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