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Saturday, May 17, 2003

Asashoryu stays perfect at Summer Basho

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu was in total control Friday as he demolished Takamisakari to boost his record to a perfect 6-0 and keep sole possession of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

The surly 22-year-old, chasing his first Emperor's Cup as yokozuna, came charging out of his blocks like a raging bull and kept the popular No. 1 maegashira at bay with a series of devastating neck thrusts in the day's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

Takamisakari (3-3) never stood a chance of pulling off a shock and before long it was game over as Asashoryu bade his opponent good night with a meaty forearm blow to the head.

Asashoryu stayed one win ahead of ozeki Chiyotaikai and four other wrestlers with 5-1 records.

Chiyotaikai kept his slim hopes of promotion to yokozuna alive, as the Kokonoe-stable grappler deployed a barrage of slaps before drawing in Tochinonada (4-2) and hauling the No. 1 maegashira to the clay surface.

The spring champion Chiyotaikai must win at least 13 bouts to be considered to promotion to sumo's top rank.

It was another bad day at the office for relegation-haunted ozeki pair Tochiazuma (3-3) and Musoyama (2-4), however, as both slumped to defeats at the hands of komusubi.

Tochiazuma always looked second best and was easily forced out by Mongolian Kyokutenho (3-3), while Musoyama lost control of his bout early on against Tosanoumi (2-4), who dumped the ozeki to the dirt with a two-handed belt throw.

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