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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

NAGOYA BASHO

Front-runners stay undefeated

NAGOYA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu pounced on Hokutoriki for his ninth straight win Monday, staying tied for the lead with Miyabiyama at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Mongolian Asashoryu encountered little resistance from sekiwake Hokutoriki, lifting the lower-ranked wrestler by the belt and carrying him over the ring's edge.

Winners   Losers
Tokitenku 3-6   Otsukasa 4-5
Kinkaiyama 4-5   Harunoyama 1-8
Buyuzan 5-4   Kasugao 2-4
-3 Jumonji 5-4   Takanowaka 3-6
Tosanoumi 6-3   Toki 3-6
Toyozakura 7-2   Asasekiryu 6-3
Hayateumi 5-4   Wakatoba 2-7
Futeno 7-2   Tochisakae 3-6
Aminishiki 3-6   Takamisakari 5-4
Miyabiyama 9-0   Tokitsuumi 4-5
Takekaze 4-5   Hakuho 6-3
Dejima 6-3   Kaiho 4-5
Tochinonada 5-4   Kotoryu 2-7
Iwakiyama 4-5   Kakizoe 3-6
Kyokutenho 5-4   Kotonowaka 1-8
Kotomitsuki 4-5   Kokkai 5-4
Wakanosato 6-3   Tamanoshima 2-7
Chiyotaikai 8-1   Kyokushuzan 1-8
Shimotori 5-4   Kaio 6-3
Musoyama 6-3   Tochiazuma 7-2
Asashoryu 9-0   Hokutoriki 0-9

With the win, Asashoryu, who has never won the Nagoya tourney, edged closer to capturing his fourth straight Emperor's Cup.

The grand champion's biggest threat, No. 7 maegashira Miyabiyama, also won to preserve a 9-0 record and a share of the lead.

Miyabiyama staved off Tokitsuumi with slaps to the neck, then pulled on Tokitsuumi's arm to send him toppling onto his hands.

Among other top-ranked wrestlers, only ozeki Chiyotaikai was one win behind the leaders with an 8-1 record, after Tochiazuma's loss left him 7-2.

Chiyotaikai shoved out Kyokushuzan with his trademark arm thrusts, leaving Kyokushuzan at 1-8. Tochiazuma was outmuscled and tugged to the dirt by ozeki Musoyama.

Ozeki Kaio continued to struggle, his record worsening to 6-3 after a loss to No. 4 maegashira Shimotori. Kaio appeared to have Shimotori backed against the edge but Shimotori squirmed out of his grasp and pushed out the higher-ranked wrestler from behind.

In other bouts, Toyozakura kept alive his chances of catching up to the leaders -- and dashed his opponent Asasekiryu's hopes.

The two, tied with six wins before the day's match-up, traded arm thrusts at the face-off, but No. 14 maegashira Toyozakura combined slaps to the face with a sudden yank to No. 10 maegashira Asasekiryu's head to send the higher-ranked wrestler to the dirt.

No. 15 maegashira Futeno dispatched Tochisakae to improve to 7-2. No. 9 maegashira Tochisakae fell to 3-6.

Despite a promising early start to the tourney, Georgian-born Kokkai was dealt another setback with his fourth loss. Komusubi Kotomitsuki pulled on No. 2 maegashira Kokkai's head at the face-off and nudged him from behind over the ring's edge.



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