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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004

TRIO TIED AT TOP

Asashoryu retains piece of lead

The Associated Press Grand champion Asashoryu remained tied for the lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday after a gritty win over sixth-ranked maegashira Kakizoe. No. 5 maegashira Dejima forces ozeki Chiyotaikai out for his ninth win of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Mongolian Asashoryu exchanged a series of slaps to the head with Kakizoe in the finale at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan before swatting his opponent down to improve to 9-2. Kakizoe fell to 6-5.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his fifth straight Emperor's Cup, is tied for the lead along with Dejima and ozeki Kaio, who both posted wins earlier.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Dejima kept up his impressive run in the 15-day tourney when he traded arm thrusts with Chiyotaikai before shoving the ozeki wrestler out to improve to 9-2.

Chiyotaikai, who has struggled in this tournament, dropped to an unimpressive 6-5 and will now be content just with a winning record.

Ozeki Kaio remained in contention when he got a hand on the neck of Miyabiyama and shoved the sekiwake out after being pushed back at the faceoff.

Kaio picked up his ninth win against two defeats while handing Miyabiyama his sixth loss.

Sekiwake Wakanosato stayed in the hunt when he grabbed ahold of Kokkai and flung the top maegashira down to pick up his eighth win against three losses.

Kokkai was handed his third loss in the last four days and fell to 5-6.

Mongolian Kyokushuzan, who led the tournament for much of the first week, was handed his third straight loss and fell to 8-3 when he was muscled out by Tochinonada, who improved to 8-3.

No. 10 maegashira Kyokushuzan attempted to grab ahold of Tochinonada's belt after the faceoff, but was quickly driven out by the larger No. 3 maegashira.

Earlier, fan favorite Takamisakari used an arm throw to send 19-year-old Mongolian Hakuho sprawling to the dirt surface.

Takamisakari, a No. 7 maegashira, improved to 5-6 while third-ranked maegashira Hakuho dropped to 6-5.

No. 2 maegashira Iwakiyama improved to 6-5 when overwhelmed komusubi Kotomitsuki, who fell to 5-6.


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