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Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004


Red-hot Hakuho upsets Asashoryu

FUKUOKA (AP) Mongolian teenager Hakuho upset compatriot Asashoryu on Wednesday to hand the grand champion his first loss of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Kaio slams down No. 9 maegashira Roho during 11th-day action at the Kyushu Grand Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Fighting in the final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, top maegashira Hakuho exchanged a series of ferocious slaps to the face with Asashoryu before dodging to his side and shoving the stunned yokozuna out from behind to the delight of the capacity crowd.

The victory for rising star Hakuho gave both wrestlers a share of the lead at 10-1 along with Wakanosato.

In other major bouts, ozeki Kaio bounced back from Tuesday's loss when he swatted down Roho for a hard-fought win.

Kaio, who lost to Hakuho the previous day, had his hands full with Russian Roho, who forced Kaio to the brink several times.

But Fukuoka native Kaio held his composure and finally swatted the No. 9 maegashira down to improve to 9-2.

Kaio, who won the Autumn tourney, is hoping a strong performance in this meet will earn him promotion to the sport's highest rank of yokozuna, and will need at least 13 wins.

Roho dropped to 8-3.

Chiyotaikai was handed yet another loss when No. 4 maegashira Tamanoshima used a series of arm thrusts to send the struggling ozeki out to his sixth loss against five wins.

Tamanoshima improved to 5-6.

In a battle of sekiwake wrestlers, Wakanosato took a share of the lead at 10-1 when he got both arms around Miyabiyama and lifted his opponent out in a matter of seconds. Miyabiyama fell to 7-4.

Kotomitsuki took advantage of a poor faceoff by Kokkai to improve to 8-3.

Komusubi Kotomitsuki sidestepped the charging Kokkai at the faceoff, grabbed the No. 2 maegashira by the arm and then calmly flung him out over the straw ridge.

Kokkai, a No. 2 maegashira, dropped to an unimpressive 4-7.

Earlier, Kotonowaka flattened fan favorite Takamisakari to give both wrestlers a record of 7-4.

The towering No. 5 maegashira overwhelmed Takamisakari after the two had fallen out simultaneously in their first bout.

In the rematch, Takamisakari was no threat for veteran grappler Kotonowaka, who used his weight to his advantage in sending the No. 7 maegashira into the first row of seats.

Further down the ranks, No. 13 maegashira Kaiho stayed in contention when he got both arms around Kotooshu and forced the 10th-ranked maegashira out to give both rank-and-filers a record of 8-3.

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