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Sunday, May 18, 2003

Asashoryu still alone at top

Yokozuna Asashoryu completely dominated journeyman Tamanoshima to maintain his sole lead with an unblemished record at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

In the day's final bout, Tamanoshima (4-3) never had a fighting chance against the Mongolian speed demon, who bloodied the third-ranked maegashira's nose in the process of cruising to a 7-0 record at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The 22-year-old yokozuna is seeking his first Emperor's Cup as a grand champion and third overall with ozeki Chiyotaikai in hot pursuit as the only grappler at 6-1, as he endeavors to achieve sumo's highest rank with 13 or more wins and the coveted title.

Chiyotaikai knocked the daylights out of Kaiho (2-5), sending the fourth-ranked grappler backpedaling over the edge in a flurry of thrusts and slaps.

But ozeki Tochiazuma (3-4) saw his chances of posting the eight wins necessary to retain his rank take a hard hit as he was flattened by the towering frame of No. 2 maegashira Takanonami (2-5).

Kaio (5-2) got a huge break when sekiwake Wakanosato's right foot stepped over the ridge before the ozeki was flipped into the front row seats. Kaio got his fifth consecutive win while Wakanosato fell into a group of nine at 5-2.

Musoyama (3-4) snapped a two-day losing skid with a victory over Kyokushuzan.

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