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Saturday, May 21, 2005

SUMMER BASHO

Asashoryu shows no compassion to compatriot

The Associated Press

News photo
Ozeki Tochiazuma pushes out ozeki Chiyotaikai on Friday, the 13th day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu overwhelmed compatriot Hakuho on Friday to remain undefeated and in the sole lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu came bursting out of the blocks and drove Hakuho out over the straw ridge with a series of powerful arm thrusts. Sekiwake Hakuho dropped to 8-5.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his fourth straight Emperor's Cup and 12th overall, improved to a perfect 13-0 and can wrap up the title on Saturday with a win over Chiyotaikai.

Asashoryu is also looking to tie former yokozuna Musashimaru of Samoa for the most titles held by a foreign wrestler with 12.

Kotomitsuki, Kyokushuzan and Tochiazuma all stand two wins off the pace at 11-2.

Ozeki Tochiazuma bulldozed out fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai to keep pace at 11-2. Chiyotaikai, who fell to 10-3 and dropped out of title contention, put up little resistance and appears to have lost his motivation since wrapping up the winning record he needs to maintain his rank.

In other major bouts, in-form komusubi Kotomitsuki shoved out No. 6 maegashira Hokutoriki to pick up his eleventh win against two losses. Hokutoriki fell to 7-6.

In an earlier bout, Mongolian Kyokushuzan, a No. 9 maegashira, improved to 11-2 when he shoved out 16th-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga.

No. 3 maegashira Kyokutenho of Mongolia got both hands on the belt of Georgian Kokkai and lifted the No. 2 maegashira up over the straw ridge to pick up his fifth win against eight losses. Kokkai has struggled with his faceoff in this tournament and dropped to 4-9.

Bulgarian Kotooshu, who is developing a flair for the dramatic, did a pirouette on the straw ridge and threw komusubi Wakanosato (6-7) out to improve to 9-4.

As both wrestlers fell off the raised ring they landed on Tosanoumi, who was sitting ringside, along with a judge and several fans.



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