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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Asashoryu throws down Futeno

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu made it three wins out of three on Tuesday after a routine victory over Futeno as ozeki Kaio bounced back from defeat at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu was all business in the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium pulling his third-ranked opponent around like a rag doll before finishing the job with a yanking underarm throw to improve to 3-0. Futeno dropped to 1-2.

Asashoryu went undefeated in winning the summer tourney and is aiming to become the first wrestler to win five tournaments in a row since former yokozuna Chiyonofuji did it in 1986-87.

He has only lost once this year when he was beaten by ozeki Tochiazuma at the spring basho in March.

Relegation-haunted Kaio got a much-needed win over Miyabiyama and Tochiazuma also came through unscathed but Chiyotaikai was handed a shock defeat to former ozeki Dejima and slipped to 2-1.

Kaio, beaten by Futeno on Monday, never looked in trouble against Miyabiyama (1-2) and got the second of eight wins he needs to preserve his rank after slapping down his opponent following an exchange of neck thrusts.

Tochiazuma, who appears to have regained his form of old after a succession of injuries, had too much class for Russian Roho (1-2) and bumped him out after evading a series of attacks from the third-ranked maegashira to notch his third win.

Chiyotaikai was the only upset victim of the day as No. 2 maegashira Dejima read the ozeki like a book and got both arms around him and ushered him over the straw bales. Both men have 2-1 records.

Sekiwake returnee Kotomitsuki (2-1) put his opening day slip-up behind him and gave his home fans plenty to cheer about after bulldozing winless Mongolian Kyokushuzan out of the ring with minimum fuss.

Tamakasuga pulls out

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Thirteenth-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga has pulled out of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on the third day of action Tuesday after he was diagnosed with a damaged disk in his neck.

Tamakasuga aggravated the neck injury in Monday's loss to Hakurozan. The injury has bothered him since the last tournament.

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