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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Asashoryu remains unstoppable

OSAKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu chalked up another hard-earned win Monday by taking down Aminishiki to stay on course for his second consecutive Emperor's Cup at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Winners   Losers
Kaiho 5-4   Roho 2-7
Harunoyama 5-4   Yotsukasa 4-5
Ushiomaru 4-5   Chiyotenzan 2-7
Kotonowaka 6-3   Wakanoyama 1-8
Takekaze 5-4   Futeno 2-7
Toyozakura 3-6   Kasuganishiki 3-6
Asasekiryu 9-0   Kokkai 7-2
Toki 5-4   Buyuzan 6-3
Takamisakari 6-3   Takanonami 2-7
Tochisakae 5-4   Asanowaka 3-6
Hokutoriki 7-2   Kotoryu 6-3
Tamanoshima 4-5   Kinkaiyama 3-6
Kyokutenho 5-4   Jumonji 1-8
Dejima 5-4   Iwakiyama 4-5
Miyabiyama 5-4   Tochinonada 4-5
Kotomitsuki 3-6   Kyokushuzan 2-7
Kakizoe 4-5   Wakanosato 4-5
Chiyotaikai 9-0   Tosanoumi 1-8
Musoyama 7-2   Tokitsuumi 4-5
Kaio 9-0   Shimotori 3-6
Asashoryu 9-0   Aminishiki 2-7

Asashoryu, who won the New Year meet in January with an unblemished 15-0 record, extended his unbeaten run to 24 matches and remained tied for the lead with nine wins but was fortunate not to get his scorecard blotted in the day's finale at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Asashoryu shrugged off a charge and worked fourth-ranked maegashira Aminishiki (2-7) toward the ring's edge but only just managed to stay on his feet longer than his opponent as he tipped him over with an underarm throw.

The fiery 23-year-old looks capable of repeating his achievement at the New Year meet, although ozeki Chiyotaikai and Kaio continued to keep up the pressure by staying tied at the top along with Mongolian Asasekiryu after impressive wins.

Chiyotaikai exchanged a series of blows with Tosanoumi and kept his flawless record intact by dragging the fourth-ranked maegashira down by the back of the neck for the victory. Tosanoumi was saddled with a losing record after his eighth defeat.

After soaking up an early attack from komusubi Shimotori (3-6), Kaio charged back and quickly grabbed his opponent's "mawashi" belt before bundling him over the straw ridge.

Musoyama (7-2) helped the ozeki trio to a clean sweep and moved within one win of the eight he requires to keep his rank when he quickly floored Tokitsuumi (4-5) with an overarm throw.

On a day of mixed fortunes for sekiwake, Kotomitsuki (3-6) posted his second straight win by shoving out Mongolian former komusubi Kyokushuzan (2-7) but Wakanosato got bumped out by komusubi Kakizoe, leaving both wrestlers with 4-5 records.

In earlier matchups, popular maegashira Takamisakari bounced back from Sunday's loss to Kokkai by quickly marching out veteran Takanonami for his sixth win of the meet.

Takanonami, who made a disastrous start by losing his first six bouts, slumped to 2-7.

Asasekiryu (7-2) maintained his impressive winning run in a tense affair between two future prospects by posting a hard-fought win over Kokkai (7-2), a No. 9 maegashira who hails from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.



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