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Kakuryu dealt 1st loss in Nagoya, now tied with Hakuho

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Yokozuna Kakuryu, right, stumbles to his first loss of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at the hands of No. 7 maegashira Tomokaze on Friday.

The Japan News Yokozuna Kakuryu was sent flailing to his first loss of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament by No. 7 maegashira Tomokaze on Friday, leaving him tied with fellow yokozuna Hakuho with two days remaining at Aichi Prefectural Gym.

Kakuryu came out low on the jump-off and pressed ahead, but was left flailing at nothing but air when Tomokaze (10-3) slipped to the side. Kakuryu’s momentum then took over and he was unable to avoid stumbling to the dirt.

It was Tomokaze’s first career “kinboshi” — awarded for a victory by a maegashira-ranked wrestler over a yokozuna — while Kakuryu saw his 12-match winning streak end as he pursues a sixth career championship.

In the previous bout, Hakuho kept the pressure on his fellow Mongolian when he improved to 12-1 by defeating No. 7 maegashira Myogiryu, using a hold more often seen in Olympic-style wrestling.

Following an initial exchange that left the two separated, Hakuho locked up an arm, then went over the top to add Myogiryu’s head in a front headlock. He then twisted and pressed down to force the maegashira to the dirt for his 19th win in 20 career meetings between the two.

Meanwhile, No. 16 maegashira Terutsuyoshi stayed mathematically in the title chase when he pushed out No. 8 maegashira Onosho to improve to 11-2.

In other action, sekiwake Mitakeumi won a battle of raw power with No. 5 maegashira Kotoshogiku when he blasted off the line and bulldozed straight ahead for his kachikoshi eighth win, securing his rank for another tournament.

Komusubi Abi kept alive his hopes of securing a winning record when he used a powerful series of stiff-arms to force No. 3 maegashira Daieisho to the edge before applying a final shove to improve to 6-7.

The other komusubi, Ryuden, who is already facing demotion, ended a five-match losing streak when he fought off the edge before driving out No. 3 maegashira Shodai for his fourth win.

No. 1 maegashira Hokutofuji put himself in line for a return to the sanyaku — the three ranks below yokozuna — when he forced out No. 4 maegashira Ichinojo for his kachikoshi eighth win. Hokutofuji held the rank of komusubi for one tournament in March. The loss also left Ichinojo at 8-5.

No. 1 maegashira Asanoyama, following up on his surprising run to a first makuuchi division title in the previous tournament, now faces a demotion after being dealt his makekoshi eighth loss when he was pulled down by No. 2 maegashira Aoiyama. Speech

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