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Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Asashoryu rolls on, remains unbeaten
The Associated Press Grand champion Asashoryu sent rank-and-filer Tosanoumi flying off the raised dirt mound Tuesday to maintain his perfect record at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.
Asashoryu came close to going down himself before grabbing hold of the No. 4 maegashira's waist and sending him off the mound and into the front row of the audience at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Tosanoumi fell to 1-9 while Asashoryu improved to 10-0.
The Mongolia native is the favorite to win the 15-day tournament, which would cement his dominance of Japan's national sport, but he is being challenged by two ozekis and one rank-and-filer who also have perfect records.
Among those challengers, ozeki Kaio threw his whole body against Kotomitsuki in their bout, pushing the sekiwake outside the raised edge with his stomach.
Kaio improved to 10-0 while Kotomitsuki dropped down to 3-7.
Fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai kept his perfect record after Aminishiki's left leg slipped while attacking with a series of arm thrusts.
The No. 4 maegashira, who lost to Asashoryu in a dramatic bout Tuesday, fell to 2-8.
The last of the three seeking to challenge Asashoryu, No. 12 maegashira Asasekiryu, scored his 10th straight victory by sending No. 6 maegashira Hokutoriki to the dirt with a flick of his left wrist. Hokutoriki fell to 7-3.
In other bouts, Kokkai, a native of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, fell to 7-3 after Yotsukasa came at him with rapid fire neck thrusts. No. 17 maegashira Yotsukasa improved his record to 5-5.
Crowd favorite Takamisakari lost out No. 13 maegashira Kotonowaka after a prolonged impasse during which the wrestlers held on to each other's belts as they waited for the right moment to make their next move. Kotonowaka took the initiative by pushing Takamisakari (6-4) backward off the mound.
No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan, who also hails from Mongolia, fell to Shimotori after the komusubi pushed him out of the ring from the stomach. Shimotori improved to 4-6.
Ozeki Musoyama suffered his third loss to sekiwake Wakanosato, who improved to 5-5.