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Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004

Asashoryu moves out in front

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu powered out fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho to keep an unblemished record and take sole possession of the lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

News photo
Ozeki Kaio pushes out No. 2 maegashira Kokkai on Friday, the sixth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

In the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Asashoryu never gave his opponent an opening before wrapping both hands around the No. 3 maegashira and quickly shoving him out to move to 6-0. Kyokutenho slipped to 1-5.

Asashoryu, who is aiming for his ninth overall title, has a chance to become the first wrestler since 1986 to win the Emperor's Cup five times in a single year.

Ozeki Kaio sent Kokkai flying over the edge when he dodged to the side of the No. 2 maegashira right after the face-off to improve to 5-1. Kokkai slipped to 2-4.

Kaio, who won his fifth straight after an opening-day loss, is hoping a second straight title win will put him in good standing for promotion to yokozuna.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai was hit with a fourth loss, losing to Iwakiyama, who improved to 4-2. The ozeki lost his balance and went crashing immediately to the clay when the third-ranked maegashira swatted him down.

Elsewhere, Wakanosato got both hands around Kyokushuzan (1-5) before hoisting the fourth-ranked Mongolian wrestler out with a several hard shoves, leaving him at 5-1.

Fellow sekiwake Miyabiyama (4-2) hit Tamanoshima (3-3) with a salvo of thrusts to the chest before knocking the fourth-ranked maegashira off the raised platform.

In other bouts, Kotonowaka dropped to his first defeat when he retreated and was rammed out by Jumonji, who improved to 2-4, while nineteen-year-old Mongolian Hakuho sent Shimotori (2-4) crashing to the dirt with a powerful overarm throw to win his fifth bout.

Takamisakari fought a thrilling bout with Asasekiryu before depositing his 10th-ranaked maegashira opponent outside the ring to earn his fourth victory. Asasekiryu dropped to 2-4.

Tochiazuma withdraws

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Ozeki Tochiazuma pulled out of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday with a fractured shoulder, his stablemaster Tamanoi said.

Tochiazuma, who was in danger of losing his ozeki status for the fifth time overall, will be demoted for the second time to sekiwake from the New Year meet in January.



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