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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Asashoryu gets back on track

Winners   Losers
Gojoro 5-5   Tochinohana 3-7
Yotsukasa 6-3 -1 oshidashi Akinoshima 3-7
Asasekiryu 4-6   Hokutoriki 7-3
Aminishiki 5-5   Kasuganishiki 4-6
Tamarikido 5-5   Takanotsuru 3-7
Kyokushuzan 7-3   Jumonji 6-4
Iwakiyama 6-4   Tokitsuumi 7-3
Toki 4-6   Kinkaiyama 3-7
Miyabiyama 7-3   Kotoryu 5-5
Kaiho 5-5   Buyuzan 6-4
Kasugao 4-6   Wakanoyama 2-8
Tochinonada 6-4   Kotonowaka 4-6
Takamisakari 4-6   Dejima 6-4
Tosanoumi 5-5   Kyokutenho 5-5
Kotomitsuki 3-7   Takanonami 6-4
Chiyotaikai 9-1   Shimotori 3-7
Wakanosato 6-4   Kaio 6-4
Asashoryu 7-3   Tamanoshima 7-3

OSAKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu got back on track with a victory over rank-and-filer Tamanoshima on Tuesday as ozeki Chiyotaikai opened up a two-win lead without a fight at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's final bout, Asashoryu rebounded, after his third defeat of the 15-day tourney against Kotonowaka on Monday, to slap down the No. 4 maegashira at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

But Chiyotaikai put distance between himself and the chasing pack without breaking a sweat after the withdrawal of his scheduled opponent Shimotori.

With No. 3 maegashira Shimotori pulling out of the meet with a chest injury, Chiyotaikai moved to 9-1, two clear of a chasing group of six including Asashoryu.

Shimotori hurt his chest in a loss to South Korean grappler Kasugao on the eighth day of the meet. The 24-year-old continued to wrestle injured but was overpowered by ozeki Kaio on Monday.

Shimotori was told by doctors he will need around three weeks to recover.

In his debut tourney as a grand champion, the Mongolian has struggled to dominate his opponents but looked back to his fiery best against Tamanoshima.

With a barrage of one-arm thrusts, Asashoryu worked the Kataonami stable grappler to the straw bales and a fierce tug to the back of the head sent him sprawling to the clay.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu (right) pulls down No. 4 maegashira Tamanoshima on the 10th day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Both wrestlers are at 7-3 along with lower-ranked Kyokushuzan, Tokitsuumi, Miyabiyama and Hokutoriki.

Needing a winning record to stave off relegation, ozeki Kaio slipped to his fourth defeat to sekiwake Wakanosato (6-4).

Both wrestlers clashed at mid-ring for a decisive hold on the mawashi but the sekiwake prevailed after Kaio lost his footing.

Elsewhere, Kotomitsuki (2-7) snapped a six-day losing streak against veteran top-gun maegashira Takanonami (6-4).

The sekiwake was sent flying into the front cushions but escaped with a victory as Takanonami was adjudged to have stepped outside the ring first.

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