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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Asashoryu avoids upset

Yokozuna Asashoryu had to walk a tightrope but defeated Tochinonada for his third straight win while ozeki Chiyotaikai got tripped to his first loss by crowd favorite Takamisakari at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Winners   Losers
Kasuganishiki 2-1   Otsukasa 1-2
Asasekiryu 2-1   Takanotsuru 0-3
Akinoshima 2-1   Yotsukasa 1-2
Asanowaka 2-1   Aogiyama 0-3
Wakanoyama 2-1   Toki 2-1
Kotoryu 2-1   Buyuzan 2-1
Iwakiyama 2-1   Shimotori 0-3
Aminishiki 3-0   Jumonji 2-1
Kasugao 2-1   Tamarikido 2-1
Gojoro 1-2   Hokutoriki 0-3
Kaiho 1-2   Miyabiyama 0-3
Takanonami 1-2   Kyokushuzan 1-2
Dejima 3-0   Kotonowaka 1-2
Kyokutenho 2-1   Wakanosato 2-1
Kaio 1-2   Tamanoshima 2-1
Takamisakari 3-0   Chiyotaikai 2-1
Tochiazuma 2-1   Tosanoumi 1-2
Musoyama 1-2   Kotomitsuki 0-3
Asashoryu 3-0   Tochinonada 2-1

In the day's finale, the 22-year-old Mongolian grand champion had to tussle with Tochinonada and came dangerously close to being shoved from the ring at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The pugnacious yokozuna, however, came off the retreat and regained his balance to shove the top-ranking maegashira over the bales to stay in a four-way tie at 3-0 with Takamisakari, sekiwake Dejima and rank-and-filer Aminishiki at the 15-day meet.

In a shocker to end shockers, No. 1 maegashira Takamisakari sent Chiyotaikai (2-1) crashing to his first defeat with a well-placed pull-down immediately out of the blocks.

It was a big loss for the Kokonoe ozeki, who with 13 or more wins and the championship title could get the nod for yokozuna.

To the crowd's dismay Tochiazuma (2-1), who is feeling the pressure of needing eight wins or more to retain his ozeki status, took the easy way out with a quick twist down of komusubi Tosanoumi (1-2).

Musoyama (1-2), meanwhile, dropped a weak Kotomitsuki to his third successive loss, mowing down the second-ranked grappler in the day's penultimate bout to take the first step toward notching the eight wins he needs to keep sumo's second highest rank.

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