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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Asashoryu, Hokutoriki maintain pace at 9-1

Yokozuna Asashoryu clobbered Kotomitsuki in a fierce attack Tuesday to retain his share of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Winners   Losers
Kaiho 6-4   Kobo 2-8
Hayateumi 6-4   Jumonji 5-5
Asanowaka 3-7   Harunoyama 3-7
Hakuho 8-2   Tosanoumi 4-6
Takanowaka 5-5   Tochisakae 4-6
Kyokushuzan 6-4   Futeno 7-3
Aminishiki 5-5   Buyuzan 2-8
Tamanoshima 8-2   Kinkaiyama 8-2
Tokitsuumi 6-4   Takekaze 6-4
Kotoryu 5-5   Takamisakari 3-7
Dejima 4-6   Toki 2-8
Iwakiyama 7-3   Kakizoe 4-6
Hokutoriki 9-1   Kokkai 7-3
Asasekiryu 2-8   Miyabiyama 1-9
Kyokutenho 3-7   Tochinonada 3-7
Musoyama 6-4   Kotonowaka 4-6
Kaio 8-2   Shimotori 3-7
Chiyotaikai 7-3   Wakanosato 7-3
Asashoryu 9-1   Kotomitsuki 5-5

In the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, the Mongolian erupted like an angry volcano against his nemesis to stay in a two-way share of the lead at 9-1 with top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki, who disposed of Kokkai.

Asashoryu is seeking his third straight Emperor's Cup after winning the spring basho with a perfect 15-0 record. Until Friday's shock defeat to Hokutoriki, the grand champion had gone 35-0, surpassing former yokozuna Taiho's run of 34 consecutive victories.

Asashoryu waited to set up the komusubi for the kill before using a body slam to dump Kotomitsuki to a 5-5 record. The yokozuna improved to 12-6 in career bouts against Kotomitsuki.

Elsewhere, Hokutoriki never gave Kokkai (7-3) a chance to come out the blocks, quickly ramming the seventh-ranked maegashira over the ridge with a firm frontal shove out.

Kinkaiyama dropped out of his share of the lead when he was barreled over in a matter of seconds by Tamanoshima, leaving both grapplers at 8-2.

Crowd favorite Takamisakari was slammed onto his back by Kotoryu (5-5), who deployed an outside leg trip immediately after the faceoff that sent the No. 4 maegashira to his seventh defeat.

Hakuho, a newly promoted makuuchi-division wrestler, posted his eighth victory for a winning record with a slap down of Tosanoumi, who dropped to 4-6.

In other key bouts, ozeki Kaio (8-2) kept his title hopes alive after obliterating Shimotori (3-7), using an underarm grip to heave the third-ranked maegashira wrestler over the ridge.

Sekiwake Wakanosato (7-3) got locked in a lengthy standstill with Chiyotaikai, but the ozeki prevailed with a twist down as both wrestlers tumbled to the surface.

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