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Friday, Jan. 23, 2004

Asashoryu keeps on rolling

The Associated Press Grand champion Asashoryu moved a step closer to his fifth Emperor's Cup on Thursday with a comprehensive victory over Tosanoumi on the 12th day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Winners   Losers
Asanowaka 9-3   Buyuzan 8-4
Wakatoba 3-9   Asasekiryu 5-7
Yotsukasa 5-7   Ushiomaru 5-7
Tochisakae 8-4   Tamakasuga 4-8
Kokkai 8-4   Kaiho 6-6
Kotoryu 6-6   Takanowaka 3-9
Jumonji 7-5   Hayateumi 6-6
Shimotori 9-3   Aminishiki 8-4
Miyabiyama 8-4   Kitazakura 2-10
Dejima 8-4   Kinkaiyama 5-7
Kasuganishiki 4-8   Takanonami 6-6
Kyokutenho 5-7   Takekaze 3-9
Tokitsuumi 4-8   Toki 1-8
-3 Iwakiyama 4-8   Hokutoriki 4-8
Tochinonada 5-7   Takamisakari 3-9
Kyokushuzan 6-6   Wakanosato 7-5
Kakizoe 9-3   Kaio 9-3
Kotomitsuki 10-2   Chiyotaikai 9-3
Tochiazuma 8-4   Tamanoshima 4-8
Asashoryu 12-0   Tosanoumi 3-9

Fighting in the final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu gave Tosanoumi little chance when he shoved him out in a matter of seconds to improve to a perfect 12-0. Sekiwake Tosanoumi dropped to 3-9.

In other major bouts, Kotomitsuki read Chiyotaikai like a book to hand the fading ozeki his third loss of the tournament while keeping his own title hopes alive.

No. 4 Kotomitsuki sidestepped Chiyotaikai at the face and shoved his opponent out from behind to improve to 10-2.

Chiyotaikai, who is known for charging out of the blocks, fell three wins off the pace after being handed his second straight loss of the 15-day tournament.

Ozeki Kaio also saw his title hopes go up in smoke after a hard-luck loss to Kakizoe.

Kaio threw the No. 5 maegashira down near the edge of the ring but stepped out just before Kakizoe touched down to drop to 9-3. Kakizoe improved to 9-3.

Ozeki Tochiazuma, who came into this tourney hoping for promotion to grand champion, bounced back from Wednesday's loss with a win over Tamanoshima.

Tochiazuma shoved the sekiwake wrestler over the ridge to improve to 8-4 and secure a winning record, but will finish well short of the 13 wins he needed for promotion. Tamanoshima dropped to 4-8.

Elsewhere, Takamisakari's nightmare tournament continued in a one-sided loss to Tochinonda.

Komusubi Tochinonada improved to 5-7 when he got both arms around No. 3 maegashira Takamisakari (3-9) and lifted the fan favorite up over the straw ridge.

Further down the ranks, No. 10 maegashira Kokkai wrapped up a winning record in his makuuchi debut when he shoved out No. 15 maegashira Kaiho (6-6) to improve to 8-4.

Kokkai, who is from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, is the first European to compete in the sport's elite division.

"Makuuchi is totally different," said Kokkai. "I just tried to relax and go on the attack. I'm happy to know I'll finish with a winning record."

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