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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003

Tochiazuma's streak screeches to a halt

FUKUOKA (AP) High-flying Tochiazuma came crashing down at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, suffering an embarrassing loss to Tosanoumi while yozokuna Asashoryu put on an impressive performance to grab a share of the lead with the ozeki.

Winners   Losers
Takekaze 6-5   Toyozakura 4-7
Kaiho* 7-4   Wakatoba 5-6
Dejima 8-3   Tochisakae 5-6
Otsukasa 5-6   Jumonji 6-5
Kasuganishiki 8-3   Yotsukasa 7-4
Tamakasuga 4-7   Buyuzan 2-9
Tokitsuumi 5-6   Takanowaka 4-7
Kakizoe 4-7   Kinkaiyama 5-6
Kyokushuzan 8-3   Shimotori 5-6
Asasekiryu 3-8   Takanonami 4-7
Miyabiyama 4-7   Kotoryu 5-6
Hokutoriki 8-3   Tochinonada 6-5
Toki 7-4   Iwakiyama 2-9
Tamanoshima 7-4   Takamisakari 4-7
Aminishiki 4-7   Kyokutenho 2-9
Tosanoumi 8-3   Tochiazuma 10-1
Musoyama 6-5   Chiyotaikai 8-3
Kotomitsuki 3-8   Kaio 7-4
Asashoryu 10-1   Wakanosato 5-6
* denotes juryo class wrestler

The crowd at Fukuoka Kokusai Center saw Tochiazuma's tournament-leading winning streak snapped at 10 in a match he never looked like winning.

Tosanoumi, a No. 2 maegashira (7-3), had the ozeki retreating after the initial charge and never looked back as he shoved him out of the ring.

Asashoryu (10-1) made the 15-day tournament a two-man race by bundling out Wakanosato (5-6).

Competing as the sole grand champion after Musashimaru retired over the weekend, the Mongolian grappler was given a good fight by Wakanosato but proved an irresistible force after getting one hand around the sekiwake's chest and the other securely locked on his belt.

In a battle between ozeki, hard-charging Chiyotaikai (8-3) saw his aggressiveness backfire against struggling Musoyama (6-5). Chiyotaikai pushed his demotion-stalked opponent to the edge with a few powerful thrusts only to be pushed out sideways.

In the day's other bout involving an ozeki, local favorite Kaio (7-4) missed a chance to ward off a charging top maegashira Kotomitsuki (3-8) and was bulldozed out of the ring.

Mongolian sekiwake Kyokutenho suffered another loss Wednesday (2-9), when he was dispatched by Aminishiki. The No. 3 maegashira (4-7) broke a long deadlock during which each wrestler managed to get only one hand on the other's belt, finally bulldozing Kyokutenho out of the ring.

A day after being outmuscled by Kaio, Takamisakari (4-7) was unable to give his loyal legion of fans something to cheer about against Tamanoshima (7-4).

After firing himself up with a bout of arm pumping, the komusubi struggled to get a grip on the No. 3 maegashira's belt, then lost his balance as he was forced backward.

Fellow komusubi Iwakiyama (2-9) also tasted defeat. He was quickly dumped face-first by No. 2 maegashira Toki (7-4) after being straightened up by furious thrusts to the throat.

No. 7 maegashira Hokutoriki secured a winning record for the tournament with an aggressive display against No. 1 maegashira Tochinonada (6-5).

Hokutoriki (8-4) came in faster at the face-off, forcing his opponent back with powerful thrusts before taking him out with a shoulder charge at the rope.

In bouts involving lower-ranked makunouchi grapplers, No. 4 maegashira Miyabiyama improved to 5-6 against No. 7 maegashira Kotoryu (5-6).

No. 5 maegashira Kyokushuzan stayed in contention by throwing No. 9 maegashira Shimotori (5-6) to improve to 8-3.

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