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Sumo: Kisenosato bounces back with hard-fought win on Day 7

A day after his first loss, grand champion Kisenosato bounced back with a hard-fought win over No. 4 maegashira Chiyonokuni at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

The two other yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu, remained undefeated on the seventh day of the 15-day tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Ozeki Takayasu also stayed perfect as he maintained his pursuit for a breakthrough tournament victory.

Kisenosato (6-1) once again looked less than convincing but nevertheless earned a rousing ovation after outlasting his rank-and-file opponent.

Chiyonokuni (2-5) started the more aggressive of the two, slapping and thrusting while Kisenosato looked to gain a belt grip.

(Kisenosato, left, defeats Chiyonokuni)

The sole Japanese yokozuna, fighting for his career after missing an unprecedented eight meets through injury, withstood an attempted leg sweep before securing a left arm belt grip.

The pair then grappled for position in an energy-sapping battle before the grand champion forced Chiyonokuni’s foot over the straw as he attempted to initiate a throw.

All-time championship record holder Hakuho barely broke a sweat in the penultimate bout of the day against No. 3 Endo (1-6). The maegashira flew at Hakuho from the jump but was pushed back and lost his footing, slipping to the clay.

Kakuryu looked impressive with another dominant win, this time over No. 3 maegashira Shodai (2-5).

Unable to secure a belt grip at the opening, the yokozuna quickly drove his opponent from the ring with a rapid-fire combination of slaps and thrusts.

Ozeki Goeido (6-1) stayed one win off the pace by pushing out No. 2 Chiyotairyu (1-6).

After delaying the start in a seemingly calculated move, Goeido came in fast from the jump, delivering a hard slap to Chiyotairyu’s face before driving him out.

Takayasu was able to conserve his energy in a relatively easy victory over komusubi Tamawashi (0-7).

Tamawashi slammed hard into Takayasu at the jump but couldn’t budge the powerfully built ozeki. While driving forward, Takayasu reversed course, pulling Tamawashi off balance before slapping him to the clay.

Georgian-born ozeki Tochinoshin improved to 5-2 with a routine force-out victory over sekiwake Ichinojo (2-5).

(Hakuho, right, defeats Endo)

Ichinojo had the momentum at the jump, but Tochinoshin secured a belt grip before driving his shoulder into the towering Mongolian’s chest and driving him out backwards.

Sekiwake Mitakeumi (6-1) recovered from his first loss on Day 6 by outdueling komusubi Takakeisho (2-5) for a thrilling thrust-down victory.

The winner of July’s Nagoya Grand Tournament absorbed multiple roundhouse slaps to the face as he attacked the small but ultra-aggressive komusubi.

Takakeisho drove Mitakeumi to the edge with a hand to the throat, but the sekiwake slipped to the side and executed the winning maneuver while teetering over the straw.

No. 9 Hokutofuji, who started the day as the only unbeaten rank-and-file wrestler, improved to 7-0 with a force-out victory over No. 11 Sadanoumi (4-3).

All — Kyodo News+

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