Yokozuna Trio Remain Perfect On Day 2 While Ichinojo Rebounds


Yokozuna trio remain perfect on Day 2 while Ichinojo reboundsMongolia's yokozuna trio sailed through their second day at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament with wins on Nov. 10, while up-and-coming sumo sensation Ichinojo climbed back into the win column after an opening defeat.

Alpha wrestler Hakuho plunged into top maegashira Aminishiki and had the veteran giant-killer defused and sprawling into the spectators below the ring at Fukuoka Kokusai Center before he could even contemplate a counterattack.

The 29-year-old yokozuna--hoping to make history by winning his 32nd career title and tying Taiho for the all-time mark--was never in trouble, but he did extend his body so much in the attack that he went airborne and hit the dirt after the maegashira was already out.

Hakuho's unbeaten peers also had a good day.

Harumafuji, still recovering from an eye injury, wrapped himself around maegashira No. 2 Toyohibiki and escorted him out to defeat, while junior yokozuna Kakuryu withstood a couple of strong forward drives by top maegashira Tochiozan before grappling his way back into the match and claiming the win.

Sekiwake Ichinojo flipped maegashira No. 2 Takarafuji to the dirt to win his first bout after a loss on opening day to Harumafuji. The rising young Mongolian wasn't especially impressive--he was on the defensive after the face-off and had to play catch up--but he had the throw when it counted, and in sumo that's all that matters.

After his stellar 13-2 performance in September, Ichinojo has established himself as a wrestler worth watching. But this time out, with his new sekiwake ranking, he will be facing all the top opponents. And after suffering a bout of shingles outside the ring, he might be fighting at less than full strength.

Representing Japan's best hopes for a title, ozeki Kisenosato, a dark-horse candidate in the title race, manhandled winless komusubi Ikioi, pushing him to the edge and nailing him with a thrust that sent him out.

Ozeki Kotoshogiku drove out Bulgarian sekiwake Aoiyama for his second win, but struggling Goeido hit the dirt with his left hand to break a belly flop as opponent Takekaze (1-1) rushed into a retreat. The loss was Goeido's second in as many days in what is only his second tournament at the ozeki rank.