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Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004

Asashoryu remains undefeated

The Associated Press Grand champion Asashoryu breezed past Wakanosato on Wednesday to remain perfect at 4-0 on the fourth day at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. Takanonami tosses Asasekiryu to the ground during the fourth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Mongolian Asashoryu came bursting out of the blocks and gave Wakanosato little chance of posting another upset. Komusubi Wakanosato defeated Tochiazuma on the opening day of the 15-day tournament but was no match for the determined yokozuna in Wednesday's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu shares the lead at 4-0 with Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki and rank-and-filer Takanonami.

In other major bouts, ozeki Tochiazuma posted his third straight win with an impressive victory over komusubi Tochinonada.

After coming in low at the face off, Tochiazuma spun his opponent around near the edge and shoved Tochinonada out from behind to improve to 3-1. Tochinonada dropped to 2-2.

Winners   Losers
Kaiho 3-1   Otsukasa * 3-1
Ushiomaru 1-3   Hayateumi 2-2
Asanowaka 3-1   Takanowaka 2-2
Tamakasuga 2-2   Wakatoba 1-3
Yotsukasa 1-3   Kitazakura 0-4
Takanonami 4-0   Asasekiryu 3-1
Kokkai 3-1   Buyuzan 2-2
Aminishiki 3-1   Kinkaiyama 1-3
Shimotori 3-1   Tochisakae 2-2
Kotoryu 2-2   Miyabiyama 1-3
Dejima 2-2   Jumonji 2-2
Kakizoe 3-1   Takekaze 0-4
Kotomitsuki 4-0   Kasuganishiki 1-3
Tokitsuumi 1-3   Takamisakari 1-3
Kyokutenho 2-2   Tosanoumi 1-3
Iwakiyama 1-3   Tamanoshima 0-4
Kyokushuzan 3-1   Kaio 3-1
Chiyotaikai 4-0   Hokutoriki 0-4
Tochiazuma 3-1   Tochinonada 2-2
Toki 1-3   Musoyama 3-1
Asashoryu 4-0   Wakanosato 2-2
* denotes juryo class wrestler

Tochiazuma is gunning for promotion to yokozuna and can't afford many more slip-ups. To secure promotion to the sport's highest rank, Tochiazuma needs at least 13 wins.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai held on to his share of the lead at 4-0 after dodging a bullet in a bout against Hokutoriki.

After shoving the top maegashira back at the face off, Chiyotaikai attempted to haul the winless Hokutoriki down by the head and just avoided stepping out as his opponent touched down with his hand.

Musoyama became the second ozeki casualty on the day when he was forced to the edge by towering top maegashira Toki, who used his weight advantage to force Musoyama over the straw ridge.

Toki improved to 1-3 while Musoyama fell to 3-1.

Elsewhere, Kaio was handed his first loss of the tourney and fell one win off the pace at 3-1 when Mongolian Kyokushuzan, a No. 2 maegashira, deftly sidestepped the charging ozeki at the edge and swatted him down to improve to 3-1.

Fourth-ranked maegashira Kotomitsuki maintained his share of the lead at 4-0 when he sidestepped Kusaganishiki at the face off and then deployed a textbook arm throw to send the No. 4 maegashira tumbling to the dirt surface and his third loss.

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