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Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Asashoryu holds on for win
OSAKA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu disposed of Miyabiyama for his second victory of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday but it was another day of disappointment for ozeki Tochiazuma who slipped to his second defeat.
In the day's final bout at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, the Mongolian yokozuna weathered a violent storm but improved his overall record against the top-ranked maegashira to 11-2.
Asashoryu, who is aiming to capture his second consecutive Emperor's Cup with an undefeated record and sixth overall title, was pushed in a torrent of shoves to the ring's edge but stood his ground as he calmly set the Miyabiyama on his backside for the win.
Elsewhere, Chiyotaikai and Kaio each posted comfortable wins over their respective opponents to stay on pace at 2-0 with the lone grand champion, while Musoyama bounced back from a first-day defeat.
Chiyotaikai (2-0) was not his usual charging self as he had to walk a tightrope on the edge in his bout with Dejima (0-2) but the Kokonoe stable ozeki tossed the No. 2 maegashira over at the last second for a slim victory.
Musoyama quickly tossed aside top-ranked maegashira Kyokushuzan, who slipped to 1-1. Musoyama (1-1) must notch at least eight wins at the 15-day Osaka meet to avoid demotion.
Kaio got a fine jump after the face-off and needed minimal effort to oust newly promoted komusubi Kakizoe with a frontal force-out. Kakizoe slipped to his second-straight defeat.
In the day's upset, ozeki Tochiazuma, who is nursing an injured left shoulder, was knocked to his second straight defeat in his bout with komusubi Shimotori (1-1).
The komusubi came in close before using a well-timed underarm-throw to send Tochiazuma sprawling to the sand.
Elsewhere, crowd favorite Takamisakari got a solid left-hand grip on Tokitsuumi's belt and quickly dispatched the No. 5 maegashira, who slipped to 1-1.
The eight-ranked wrestler, who gets the crowd riled with his pre-bout histrionics, finished with a disappointing 4-11 record at the New Year meet in January, but appears to be in top form as he moved to 2-0.