Kakuryu Back in Sole Possession of First

Kakuryu came away with a victory at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday, improving to an 11-1 record and regaining sole possession of first place in the standings.

One day after losing his unbeaten streak at this year’s tournament, Kakuryu took control in his bout with ozeki Kotoshogiku, forcing him out of the ring to gain the win.

Yokozuna Harumafuji, ozeki Kisenosato and No. 15 maegashira Ishiura are all tied for second in the standings, while yokozuna Hakuho, ozeki Goeido and No. 3 maegashira Shodai are all tied for third with 9-3 records.

After being tied for the overall tournament lead, Harumafuji was bumped down with a loss on Thursday against Kisenosato. Harumafuji charged into Kisensato, but the ozeki kept his balance with a tactical retreat. Harumafuji overextended himself and Kisenosato executed a counterattack for the win.

Hakuho, who holds the record for most grand sumo tournament championships, was pressed back and defeated by Terunofuji, who gained an eighth tournament win to avoid demotion to sekiwake.

Hakuho explained his defeat to The Japan Times as Terunofuji simply reading his attack.

Goeido defeated No. 3 megashira Endo by driving him from the ring on the tachiai. Ikioi defeated Ishiura, ending Ishiura’s 10-match winning streak.

Kakuryu will face Hakuho, who has beaten him 39 out of 44 times, on Friday. In addition, Harumafuji will face Goeido, against whom he is 29-10.

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