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Monday, Nov. 17, 2003

Tochiazuma takes sole possession of Kyushu top spot

FUKUOKA (AP) Ozeki Tochiazuma overwhelmed Tochinonada on Sunday to take sole possession of the lead on the eighth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament

Winners   Losers
Dejima 6-2   Tamakasuga 2-6
Otsukasa 3-5   Toyozakura 4-4
Takekaze 4-4   Takanowaka 3-5
Kasuganishiki 5-3   Tamarikido 2-6
Yotsukasa 5-3   Shimotori 4-4
Tochisakae 4-4   Buyuzan 2-6
Kotonowaka 7-1   Hokutoriki 7-1
Wakatoba 4-4   Kotoryu 3-5
Tokitsuumi 3-5   Jumonji 4-4
Kyokushuzan 7-1   Kinkaiyama 4-4
Kakizoe 3-5   Asasekiryu 1-7
Toki 4-4   Takanonami 2-6
Tosanoumi 6-2   Miyabiyama 3-5
Kyokutenho 2-6   Takamisakari 3-5
Kaio 5-3   Tamanoshima 6-2
Tochiazuma 8-0   Tochinonada 5-3
Chiyotaikai 6-2   Wakanosato 4-4
Aminishiki 2-6   Musoyama 5-3
Asashoryu 7-1   Kotomitsuki 1-7
Iwakiyama 1-7   Musashimaru 3-5

On the day after grand champion Musashimaru decided to retire, Tochiazuma fought off several arm thrusts by top maegashira Tochinonada before taking control of the bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center and shoving his opponent out to improve his record to 8-0. Tochinonada dropped to 5-3.

Tochiazuma holds a one-win lead over four other wrestlers, including Mongolian Asashoryu, the only grand champion left in the 15-day tourney.

Asashoryu, who won the Autumn tournament and is gunning for his fifth title, showed the poise of a yokozuna and improved to 7-1 when he deployed an arm throw to send top maegashira Kotomitsuki tumbling to the dirt and his seventh loss in the day's final bout.

Mongolian Kyokushuzan and lower-ranked wrestlers Kotonowaka and Hokutoriki are also one win back.

No. 12 maegashira Kotonowaka improved to 7-1 after he got a right-hand grip on the belt of Hokutoriki and threw the seventh-ranked maegashira down for his first loss of the tournament.

Kyokushuzan, a No. 5 maegashira, was pushed back to the edge by sixth-ranked maegashira Kinkaiyama but went airborne while Kinkaiyama's arm touched the dirt. Kyokushuzan improved to 7-1, while Kinkaiyama fell to 4-4.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai picked up his sixth win against two losses and dealt a blow to Wakanosato's ozeki hopes when he slapped the sekiwake down for his fourth loss against four wins.

Local boy Kaio got back on the winning track when he came charging out of the blocks and dispatched No. 3 maegashira Tamanoshima out in a matter of seconds.

Ozeki Kaio, who needs a winning record here to maintain his ozeki status, improved to 5-3 while Tamanoshima dropped to 6-2.

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