Hakuho secures 12th Emperor's Cup

FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) — Mongolian grand champion Hakuho defeated Kotomitsuki on Saturday to wrap up his 12th Emperor's Cup with one day remaining in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho was pushed back at the initial faceoff but eventually got a grip on Kotomitsuki's belt before lifting the ozeki out over the straw ridge to improve to 14-0 in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia fell out of contention in the previous bout when he was forced out by Bulgarian Kotooshu to fall to 11-3 in the 15-day meet. Ozeki Kotooshu improved to 10-4.

Asashoryu was bidding for his 25th title but three straight losses from the 12th day dashed his hopes for another championship.

Hakuho will be presented with his third Emperor's Cup of the year on Sunday. He has also won this year at the spring tournament in March and the Nagoya tournament in July.

All six major tournaments in 2009 have been won by Mongolian wrestlers. Asashoryu won the New Year tournament in January and autumn tournament in September. Harumafuji took the title at the summer tournament in May.

Hakuho will be looking to make it a perfect 15-0 when he faces Asashoryu on the final day on Sunday.



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