Mongolian sekiwake Kakuryu moved into the sole lead of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on March 23 as yokozuna Hakuho fell apart against Kisenosato and lost his second bout.
In a rare show of vulnerability, Hakuho drove out way too low against Kisenosato and had no power in his attack. Kisenosato wasted no time in grabbing the advantage, and worked a push as he moved to the side and sent the yokozuna flying over the edge.
Kakuryu, meanwhile, sailed through a major hurdle by maneuvering ozeki Kotoshogiku (8-5) out of the ring with a powerful right-handed belt hold. The win is Kakuryu's 32nd over the past three tournaments, which puts him within range of qualifying for promotion to ozeki. Kisenosato was elevated after the same record, and Kakuryu has the added achievement of having also defeated Hakuho. Another win would almost certainly seal the deal, as, of course, would winning the overall title.
With his own hopes of promotion to yokozuna already dashed, Baruto blasted Harumafuji over the edge and probably ended his chances of a come-from-behind shot at the title. The result puts both ozeki at 10-3, and means they can only hope for the leaders to break down completely in the remaining two days.
Harumafuji gets his shot at Hakuho on March 24, however.