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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Asashoryu rolls to 3-0 in Osaka

OSAKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia easily defeated compatriot Kyokushuzan on Tuesday to remain undefeated at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Fighting in the day's final bout at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Asashoryu fought off an arm thrust by Kyokushuzan and then calmly shoved the top maegashira out to improve to 3-0. Kyokusuzan dropped to 1-2.

Asashoryu won the New Year tourney with a perfect 15-0 record and is looking to repeat that performance here and pick up his sixth Emperor's Cup.

Earlier Tuesday, sumo officials announced that ozeki Tochiazuma pulled out of the tournament due to a broken left shoulder.

Tochiazuma injured his shoulder during the January meet and aggravated it when he was handed his second defeat on Monday against komusubi Shimotori.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai barely broke a sweat when he burst out of the blocks and slapped Mongolian Kyokutenho down in a matter of seconds to remain tied for the lead at 3-0. Kyokutenho, a No. 2 maegashira, fell to 2-1.

Ozeki Kaio, looking to keep the heat on Asashoryu, posted an easy win over winless Dejima when he sidestepped the No. 2 maegashira at the face off and swatted him down to improve to a perfect 3-0.

Musoyama, who needs a winning record in this tournament to maintain his ozeki status, used a well-timed arm throw to send Shimotori tumbling to the dirt.

Musoyama improved to 2-1 while Shimotori dropped to 1-2.

Newly-promoted komusubi Kakizoe picked up his first win of the tournament when he got both arms around Kotomitsuki and waltzed the sekiwake out to give both wrestlers a record of 1-2.

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