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Friday, Nov. 19, 2004

Asashoryu moves to 5-0, share of lead

FUKUOKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu overcame Tamanoshima on Thursday to maintain a perfect record and a share of the lead after the fifth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Fighting in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Mongolian Asashoryu was pushed back at the face off by the No. 4 maegashira but quickly got a grip of his opponent's belt before shoving him out to improve to 5-0. Tamanoshima dropped to 3-2.

Asashoryu is tied for the lead along with fifth-ranked maegashira Kotonowaka.

In other major bouts, ozeki Kaio won his fourth straight bout after losing on the opening day when he got both arms around Kakizoe and drove the winless No. 2 maegashira out to improve to 4-1.

Kaio, who is a native of Fukuoka, won the Autumn meet and is hoping a solid record in this tourney will result in promotion to grand champion.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai was handed his second straight loss and fell to 3-2 when he was shoved out by komusubi Tochinonada.

Chiyotaikai was unable to rely on his trademark arm thrusts when Tochinonada got an arm around his opponent before hoisting the burly ozeki out to earn a 3-2 record.

Sekiwake Wakanosato handed 19-year-old Mongolian Hakuho his first loss of the tournament.

Despite being forced to the edge by rising star Hakuho, Wakanosato used a last-minute arm throw to send the top maegashira tumbling off the raised ring. Both wrestlers stand at 4-1.

Sekiwake Miyabiyama posted a hard-fought win over Georgian-born wrestler Kokkai.

After exchanging a series of slaps to the upper body, Miyabiyama prevailed when he swatted Kokkai down to improve to 3-2.

Kokkai, a No. 2 maegashira, dropped to 2-3.

In an earlier bout, No. 5 maegashira Kotonowaka maintained his share of the lead at 5-0 when he used a series of arm thrusts to send Mongolian Kyokushuzan out over the straw ridge.

Kyokushuzan, a fourth-ranked maegashira, dropped to 1-4.

No 3 maegashira Iwakiyama recovered from a poor face off to send ozeki Tochiazuma to his second straight loss.

Iwakiyama was pushed back at the initial charge but turned the tables on his opponent and shoved Tochiazuma out to give both wrestlers a record of 3-2.

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