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Friday, May 18, 2001

Asashoryu upsets third ozeki

Asashoryu's excellent adventure in sumo's upper ranks continued Thursday as the spunky komusubi from Mongolia knocked ozeki Chiyotaikai out of the ring for his fourth win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Yokozuna Takanohana, meanwhile, shoved down top maegashira Wakanosato at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan for his fifth straight win and a share of the lead in the 15-day tourney with rank-and-filers Kyokushuzan and Higonoumi.

Asashoryu's win knocked Chiyotaikai from the ranks of the undefeated, leaving both wrestlers at 4-1 and one pace behind the leaders along with three maegashira wrestlers.

In the much-anticipated bout, Asashoryu was quicker across the center of the ring at the face-off, working inside Chiyotaikai's defenses and negating the stronger ozeki's vaunted thrusting attack.

The newly promoted komusubi then muscled Chiyotaikai to the edge of the ring and spilled him over the straw ridge for his third win against an ozeki opponent in the tourney.

"There's still a long way to go," Asashoryu said as reporters praised his fourth upset win of the tourney. "I have to keep wrestling with the same feeling everyday."

In the day's final bout, Takanohana appeared to be pulled off balance for a moment by Wakanosato, but the grand champion recovered quickly to shove the maegashira down for a second loss.

Yokozuna Musashimaru chased down Tamanoshima (1-4) and backed the No. 3 maegashira out of the ring for his third win.

After losing the last two days, Kaio muscled out stubborn sekiwake Tochiazuma to keep his own slim title hopes alive with a hard-earned win. Both wrestlers are at 3-2.

The Musashigawa stable ozeki took two out of three as Musoyama (3-2) hammered out Chiyotenzan (2-3) and Miyabiyama (3-2) pulled down Tosanoumi (1-4) at the edge of the ring to steal a win.

Dejima (1-4), however, was tripped to his back with an outside leg hook by Takanowaka (2-3).

Sekiwake Tochinonada, meanwhile, was slapped down by komusubi Kotomitsuki (3-2) and continues to look for his first win of the tourney.

Earlier, Kyokushuzan spilled Wakatsutomu onto his backside with an American-style football tackle to remain unbeaten in the lower ranks. Makuuchi newcomer Wakatsutomu was saddled with his first loss in sumo's premier division. Kyokutenho (3-2)was twisted off his feet after a prolonged match with Kotonowaka (2-3).

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