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Thursday, July 8, 2004
Asashoryu shares lead with trio
NAGOYA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu showed no sign of letting up Wednesday and improved to 4-0 with a solid win over Kotomitsuki at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
After a brief standoff in the final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Mongolian Asashoryu used a textbook arm throw to send komusubi Kotomitsuki sprawling to the dirt surface.
Asashoryu, who is gunning for his fourth straight Emperor's Cup, remained tied for the lead with three others while Kotomitsuki fell to 2-2.
Sekiwake Tochiazuma improved to 4-0 when he butted heads with Tamanoshima before swatting the komusubi grappler down to his third loss.
Elsewhere, No. 7 maegashira Miyabiyama maintained his share of the lead at 4-0 with Asashoryu, Tochiazuma and No. 14 Toyozakura when he deployed a series of arm thrusts to send eleventh-ranked maegashira Jumonji (2-2) backpedaling out of the ring.
In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai used his trademark arm thrusts to dispatch No. 2 maegashira Kotonowaka in a matter of seconds. Chiyotaikai, who barely broke a sweat, improved to 3-1 while Kotonowaka dropped to 1-3.
Mongolian Kyokutenho wrapped up Kaio after the face off and sent the struggling ozeki out to his second loss of the tournament. Top maegashira Kyokutenho picked up his first win of the tournament.
Musoyama, who needs a winning record here to maintain his ozeki status, dug himself into a deeper hole and fell to 1-3 when he was shoved out by No. 3 maegashira Kotoryu, who improved to 2-2.
Georgian-born Kokkai, a No. 2 maegashira, remained one win off the pace at 3-1 when he got a grip of Shimotori's belt and heaved the fourth-ranked maegashira over the edge. Shimotori fell to 2-2.
In an earlier bout, Mongolian Hakuho was the victim of a poor finish and was handed his first loss in a bout with No. 10 maegashira Hayateumi.
Hakuho lifted Hayateumi up several times before forcing his opponent to the edge, where Hayateumi turned the tables on Hakuho at the last minute and shoved the No. 8 maegashira out from behind to improve to 2-2.
Takekaze, a fifth-ranked maegashira, gave fan favorite Takamisakari a dose of reality when he came bursting out of the blocks and steamrolled over the No. 7 maegashira to give wrestlers a 2-2 record.