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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Asashoryu denied Osaka title

OSAKA (AP) Ozeki Tochiazuma upset yokozuna Asashoryu at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday, keeping the Mongolian wrestler from his 11th Emperor's Cup.

News photo
Ozeki Tochiazuma shoves yokozuna Asashoryu out of the ring, snapping the Mongolian's 27-match winning streak on Friday, the 13th day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Fighting in the day's final bout at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium, Asashoryu looked to have wrapped up the title when he drove ozeki Tochiazuma out of the ring. But the ringside judges ruled the two wrestlers fell out at the same time and called for a rematch.

In the second bout, Tochiazuma forced Asashoryu to the edge and muscled the yokozuna out to improve to 8-5.

Asashoryu, the lone yokozuna competing in sumo, won the New Year tourney with a perfect 15-0 record and had been unstoppable until Friday's loss, his first in 28 bouts.

The Mongolian wrestler, who dropped to 12-1, will have to wait for the weekend for another shot at the title.

In previous bouts, the two wrestlers had an even 7-7 record.

In other major bouts, ozeki Kaio improved to 10-3 when he came charging out of the blocks and forced ozeki Chiyotaikai over the straw ridge in a matter of seconds.

Chiyotaikai has struggled with his faceoff in this tourney and dropped to an unimpressive 6-7 and will need a pair of wins on the weekend to post a winning record.

No. 2 maegashira Kotomitsuki got his hand on the chin of Miyabiyama and drove the sekiwake wrestler out to improve to 9-4. Miyabiyama dropped to 5-8.

Mongolian Hakuho threw down No. 5 maegashira Dejima (6-7) to pick up his sixth win against seven losses.

Hakuho, who was promoted to sekiwake after the New Year tournament, got off to a slow start in the Spring meet but could still post a winning record with wins in the final two days.

Seventh-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima improved to 10-3 when he forced Russian Roho (9-4) up against the straw ridge and then pulled back and watched as the No. 6 maegashira hit the dirt.

Fan favorite Takamisakari, an eighth-ranked maegashira, got both hands on the belt of Kisenosato and lifted the No. 15 maegashira out to improve to 8-5.

Wakanosato moved a step closer to a winning record when he wrapped his arms around fellow top maegashira Kyokutenho and waltzed the Mongolian grappler out to improve to 7-6.

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