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Friday, March 26, 2004
Trio moves to 12-0; Kaio loses
OSAKA (AP) Ozeki Kaio was handed his first loss at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday while grand champion Asashoryu defeated Wakanosato to remain tied for the joint lead.
In the day's penultimate bout at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Mongolian Asasekiryu remained undefeated at 12-0 when he used a left-hand thrust to the neck to send Kaio sprawling to the dirt surface.
In the final bout, Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu had his hands full with Wakanosato but eventually prevailed when he got a hold of his opponent's belt and flung the sekiwake wrestler out to improve to 12-0. Wakanosato dropped to 5-7.
Asashoryu, who won the New Year tourney with a perfect 15-0 record, is tied for the lead with Chiyotaikai and Asasekiryu.
On Wednesday, Asasekiryu, Kaio, Chiyotaikai and Asashoryu all won marking the first time in sumo history that four wrestlers were chasing the title with perfect records on the 11th day.
In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai went with his customary arm thrusts to the upper body and overpowered struggling sekiwake Kotomitsuki to remain perfect and tied for the lead at 12-0. Kotomitsuki dropped to 4-8.
Musoyama, who nailed down the winning record he needs to maintain ozeki status on Wednesday, was upset by Iwakiyama, who slapped his opponent down at the edge just before stepping over the straw ridge.
Iwakiyama, a No. 5 maegashira, improved to 6-6 while Musoyama dropped to 8-4.
Newly-promoted komusubi Kakizoe got his arm around the head of Aminishiki and hauled the No. 4 maegashira down to pick up his fifth victory. Aminishiki fell to 2-10.
Shimotori, also a newly-promoted komusubi wasn't as lucky, getting shoved out in a matter of seconds by No. 2 maegashira Dejima.
Dejima improved to 6-6 while handing Shimotori his eighth loss.
Top maegashira Miyabiyama used a series of arm thrusts to send Tamanoshima spinning out of the ring while improving to 8-4. Tamanoshima, a No. 3 maegashira, dropped to 5-7.
Fan favorite Takamisakari, a No. 8 maegashira, surprised even himself when he sidestepped Buyuzan at the face off and sat back and watched as the No. 9 maegashira tumbled off the ring. Both wrestlers stand at 7-5.