Sumo: Kisenosato Keeps Winning Pace At Kyushu Amid Harumafuji's Withdrawal







Sumo: Kisenosato keeps winning pace at Kyushu amid Harumafuji's withdrawal

The three yokozuna competing at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament had mixed fates on Tuesday, with Kisenosato and Hakuho winning convincingly while Harumafuji was forced to pull out after it emerged that he assaulted a fellow wrestler in a drunken brawl.

Kisenosato (2-1) swept past No. 2 maegashira Chiyotairyu (1-2) on the third day of the 15-day meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Kisenosato, who missed all or part of the past three meets due to injuries, pushed Chiyotairyu out of the raised ring to stay in contention for his third makuuchi division championship.

Earlier in the day, Harumafuji (0-3), the winner of the Autumn tourney, withdrew from the meet after it came to light that he had assaulted and injured No. 8 maegashira Takanoiwa in October by striking him with a beer bottle.

His stablemaster Isegahama said that Harumafuji was involved in the attack in which fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa suffered a skull fracture and other injuries, forcing him to miss the tournament in Fukuoka.

The Japan Sumo Association announced that a crisis management team is set to investigate the case but that no ruling or punishment will be handed down during the ongoing competition.

With Harumafuji's withdrawal, he joins Kakuryu on the sidelines. Kakuryu was forced out of the tournament due to lower back and right ankle pain, missing part or all of a tournament for the fourth consecutive time.

The only yokozuna to hold onto his perfect record, Hakuho (3-0), is gunning for an unprecedented 40th championship. The Mongolian grand champion took down top-ranked maegashira Takakeisho (1-2) by gripping his mawashi and charging him toward the edge, giving a final push that sent his opponent tumbling backward.

Hakuho is one of six wrestlers to remain unbeaten in Kyushu.

Takayasu (3-0), competing as a demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki, kept his hopes of maintaining his elite ranking when he defeated newly promoted komusubi Onosho (1-2). He can retain his ozeki status with five more wins over the remaining 12 days.

In the day's first bout, Daiamami (1-2), who is making his elite makuuchi division debut, pulled off his first win by beating 2nd-ranked juryo Kyokushuho (1-2).

The 24-year-old Oitekaze stable wrestler grabbed onto Kyokushuho's belt with his left hand and charged him out in a matter of moments.