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Monday, March 29, 2004

Asashoryu stays perfect to claim Spring Basho

OSAKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu survived a determined charge by Chiyotaikai on Sunday to win the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record, sweeping through his second straight basho without a loss.

Chiyotaikai brought an almost-perfect 13-1 record into the final bout of the day at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. But almost perfect wasn't good enough against Asashoryu, who gave ground after the initial collision but recovered to pull down the fired-up ozeki.

Winners   Losers
Kobo 9-6   Yotsukasa 6-9
Wakatoba 8-7   Wakanoyama 2-13
Tamakasuga 8-7   Toyozakura 6-9
Harunoyama 9-6   Ushiomaru 7-8
Futeno 7-8   Asanowaka 5-10
Kasuganishiki 5-10   Kaiho 9-6
Takekaze 9-6   Kokkai 8-7
Tochisakae 7-8   Chiyotenzan 3-12
Kotonowaka 11-4   Hokutoriki 9-5
Tokitsuumi 8-7   Toki 8-7
Aminishiki 3-12   Kinkaiyama 4-11
Tochinonada 8-7   Takanonami 5-10
Kyokutenho 10-5   Buyuzan 8-7
Kotoryu 8-7   Dejima 7-8
Tamanoshima 6-9   Kyokushuzan 4-11
Takamisakari 8-7   Miyabiyama 8-7
Tosanoumi 5-10   Shimotori 6-9
Kakizoe 6-9   Jumonji 4-11
Kotomitsuki 7-8   Iwakiyama 7-8
Wakanosato 8-7   Asasekiryu 13-2
Kaio 13-2   Musoyama 9-6
Asashoryu 15-0   Chiyotaikai 13-2

It was the 30th consecutive victory by the 23-year-old Mongolian yokozuna, who lifted his sixth Emperor's Cup.

Ozeki Kaio and high-flying maegashira Asasekiryu finished alongside Chiyotaikai with 13 wins.

Kaio downed fellow ozeki Musoyama, who overcommitted in his charge and set himself up for an easy shove-out. Musoyama fell to 9-6.

Asasekiryu was manhandled by sekiwake Wakanosato, who grabbed him by the belt and flung him into the dirt. But the No. 12 maegashira from Mongolia had an excellent 13-2 tournament and will be moving up the ranks at the next basho.

Wakanosato ended at 8-7.

After an even face off, sekiawake Kotomitsuki wore down Iwakiyama, getting both hands on the belt of the No. 5 maegashira and walking him out. Both rikishi finished at 7-8.

Newly promoted komusubi Kakizoe improved to 6-9 by chest-bumping the bigger No. 6 maegashira (6-9) Jumonji over the edge of the ring.

No. 4 maegashira Tosanoumi retreated against Shimotori but picked up his fifth win (5-10) when the komusubi stumbled in pursuit. Shimotori dropped to 6-9.

Fan favorite Takamisakari brought the crowd to life by upsetting Miyabiyama to walk off with a winning 8-7 record. The No. 8 maegashira was forced back but managed to recover and pull down the off-balance No. 1 maegashira.

No. 3 maegashira Tamanoshima (6-9) needed only a few powerful thrusts to finish off a listless Kyokushuzan (4-11).

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