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Monday, Sept. 20, 2004

Kyokushuzan stays undefeated

The Associated Press

Mongolia's Kyokushuzan extended his winning streak to eight bouts Sunday, overpowering Roho to stay ahead of his competitors at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Kyokushuzan pushes fellow-maegashira Roho out of the ring to stay undefeated on Sunday during eighth-day action of the Autumn Grand Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

After eight days of the 15-day tournament, the unheralded Kyokushuzan, a tenth-ranked maegashira, had a one-win lead over Dejima. Six others, including grand champion Asashoryu and ozeki Kaio, trailed at 6-2.

At Ryogoku Kokugikan, Kyokushuzan repeatedly shoved Roho to stay beyond the Russian newcomer's longer reach. Once in close quarters, the smaller Mongolian wrestler managed to twist Roho off-balance and out of the ring.

Grand champion Asashoryu, whose attempt at a fifth straight Emperor's Cup has been thrown in doubt by his two losses so far, was back in winning form with a victory over Shimotori.

The Mongolian yokozuna shoved Shimotori to the ring's edge but the top-ranked maegashira fought back. After going on the defensive for a few seconds, Asashoryu wrapped his arms around Shimotori, lifted him into the air and nudged him out. Shimotori sank to 3-5.

No. 5 maegashira Dejima knocked down Tochinonada to improve to 7-1.

The ozekis had mixed results. Sekiwake Wakanosato handled Musoyama with ease, stepping back after the face-off clash and flipping the ozeki into the dirt. Wakasato was 6-2, while the injured Musoyama was an embarrassing 2-6.

Ozeki Kaio survived a close call, nearly going down when Asasekiryu heaved him toward the edge. But Kaio regained his footing, grabbed a hold of the Mongolian wrestler's belt and dumped him into the dirt. Kaio was 6-2 and Asasekiryu, a No. 4 maegashira, fell to 2-6.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai was 5-3 after defeating Tosanoumi. Lurching forward, Tosanoumi seemed undeterred by Chiyotaikai's face slaps and straight arms. But the ozeki spun unexpectedly and shoved the hapless fourth-ranked maegashira off the platform.

In other bouts, Georgian-born wrestler Kokkai fell to 4-4 after retreating in the face of Iwakiyama's flurry of shoves. Kokkai, a top maegashira, has impressed by beating all of his ozeki opponents at the Autumn tourney, but his performances against lower-ranking wrestlers have been uninspiring.

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