Harumafuji takes the lead as Hakuho stumbles again at Kyushu Basho

Hakuho’s lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament slipped through his fingers the past two days.

For the second day in a row, the Mongolian superstar came out second best in his match and fellow yokozuna Harumafuji took full advantage — moving into first place at the Kyushu Basho.

Ozeki Terunofuji pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament by beating Hakuho in a marathon match that lasted almost three minutes. The loss makes a 36th championship for Hakuho seem highly unlikely. 

Harumafuji took full advantage of his fellow Mongolian’s loss, upending another yokozuna, Kakuryu, bringing him very close to his first title in two years.

The Japan Times breaks down the scenario on the final day of the year’s final meet:

Hakuho now must defeat fellow yokozuna Kakuryu — who he owns 36-4 for his career — on Sunday and hope ozeki Kisenosato upsets Harumafuji, who breezed past Kakuryu on Saturday at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Kakuryu lost his footing from the tachiai and Harumafuji took full advantage, spinning his man around and shoving him out of the circle to send the yokozuna to an embarrassing sixth defeat.

Harumafuji is 32-21 lifetime against Kisenosato, who improved to 9-5 by default after ozeki Kotoshogiku (8-6) withdrew with injury

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