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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Asashoryu makes it 2 out of 2

OSAKA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu had little trouble in taking out Wakanosato to make it two wins out of two at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

The fiery Mongolian showed why he is the red-hot favorite to take home his second Emperor's Cup of the year in the day's finale as he got hold of the former sekiwake and floored him with a crafty outside leg trip for the win.

Elsewhere, it was a mixed day for ozeki but a disappointing one for rising star Hakuho, who suffered his second defeat on the bounce on his sekiwake debut in the 15-day meet at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Mongolian Hakuho looked a pale shadow of the wrestler that has posted double-digit records in four of his five tournaments in sumo's elite makuuchi division and was easily blasted out by Kokkai.

No. 4 maegashira Kokkai, who hails from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, steamed straight into the 20-year-old and tipped him over the edge to sit among the early pacesetters at 2-0.

In other key bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai dodged a bullet and improved to 2-0 after sending down No. 2 maegashira Kakizoe (1-1) while just about managing to keep his balance.

Kaio looked back to his best and posted the second of eight wins he needs to preserve his ozeki status when he wrapped up Iwakiyama (0-2) before dumping him to the dirt with an underarm throw.



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