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Monday, May 9, 2005

Asashoryu starts tourney with easy win

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu hauled down komusubi Kotomitsuki on Sunday for a convincing win on the first day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu shoved Kotomitsuki back at the face off and then patiently waited before tugging the larger wrestler down at the middle of the ring to kick of his Summer campaign on a winning note.

Asashoryu captured his 11th Emperor's Cup at the Spring tourney in March with a 14-1 record. The yokozuna went a perfect 15-0 in the New Year meet in January and will be gunning for his eighth title in the last nine tournaments.

Asashoryu's only loss this year came at the hands of ozeki Tochiazuma on the 13th day at the Spring meet.

Sumo hasn't had a Japanese grand champion since Takanohana retired in 2003.

In other bouts, Mongolian sekiwake Hakuho started off on the right foot when he got a hold of Tochinonada's belt and hauled the No. 2 maegashira down in convincing fashion.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai exploded out of the blocks and used his trademark arm thrusts to send No. 2 maegashira Kokkai toppling off the raised ring.

After a poor showing in the last tournament, Chiyotaikai will be looking for a strong performance this time out.

Ozeki Tochiazuma buried his head in the chest of Roho and bulldozed the top maegashira out for an emphatic win. Tochiazuma is the only wrestler to have defeated Asashoryu this year.

Ozeki Kaio spun Tamanoshima around after the face off and shoved the top maegashira out from behind to pick up the win.

Komusubi Wakanosato wrapped up Mongolian Kyokutenho at the face off and muscled out the No. 3 maegashira for an easy win.

No. 3 maegashira Miyabiyama sidestepped Tosanoumi at the face off and swatted the sekiwake grappler down in a matter of seconds to kick off the Summer event with a win.

In a showdown of No. 5 maegashira, Kakizoe tripped up Bulgarian Kotooshu to post an opening day win. Kotooshu returned to the maegashira ranks for this tourney after a disappointing 4-11 showing in the Spring meet as a komusubi.



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