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Thursday, May 17, 2001

DAY 4

Asashoryu upsets ozeki Kaio

Asashoryu dragged down Kaio to get back on the winning track at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday while taking the air out of the ozeki's bid for promotion to grand champion.

Yokozuna Takanohana, meanwhile, had little trouble against Tochinonada, backing the winless sekiwake out of the ring at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan for his fourth straight win and a share of the lead in the 15-day tourney. Ozeki Chiyotaikai and three rank-and-file maegashira, including 15th-ranked Kyokushuzan of Mongolia, also have perfect 4-0 records.

In the day's most anticipated bout, Asashoryu came out with all guns blazing against Kaio, hitting the ozeki with a barrage of thrusts to the chest but failed to get the ozeki to give ground.

Kaio, stung with an upset loss the day before, appeared to take control of the bout when he locked up newly promoted komusubi and started to pitch Asashoryu to the ring's surface.

Asashoryu showed some flexibility and strength to fend off the throw attempt and then, latching onto the back of the ozeki's sash, countered with his own belt throw and knee trap to notch his third upset win of the basho. Kaio, meanwhile, fell to his second loss and will now need some help to win his second straight championship and secure promotion to sumo's ultimate rank of yokozuna.

In other major bouts, Takanohana (4-0) disposed of Tochinonada (0-4) in grand champion fashion, but fellow yokozuna Musashimaru (2-2) struggled against Wakanosato before finally driving the top maegashira out to his first loss.

Chiyotaikai, who missed all of the spring tourney in March, remained perfect by getting out of the way of overly eager Kotomitsuki and slapping the komusubi down to a second loss.

The Musashigawa stable's trio of ozeki continued to look like the "Three Stooges" as only Musoyama (2-2) could manage a win with a whip-over arm throw against Takanowaka (1-3).

Dejima (1-3) was tripped out of the ring by Chiyotenzan (2-2) and Miyabiyama (2-2) slipped and fell trying to get fancy with previously winless Tamanoshima (1-3).

In earlier bouts, Kyokushuzan kept his record perfect at the premier division's lowest rung, pulling down Daizen (1-3) while Mongolian compatriot Kyokutenho dragged Kaiho (1-3) to his knees for his third win.



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