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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Asashoryu bags fourth straight win

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu continued his march toward a fifth straight Emperor's Cup with a fourth win as ozeki Chiyotaikai and Tochiazuma both suffered shock defeats at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu pushes top-ranked maegashira Kakizoe out of the ring to improve his record to 4-0 at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu barely broke sweat in the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, blasting out top-ranked maegashira Kakizoe (1-4) with a series of shoves to maintain his unbeaten record.

The Mongolian bruiser, who won the summer tourney with a 15-0 mark and is aiming to become the first wrestler to win five tournaments in a row in almost 20 years, shares the lead with Georgian wrestler Kokkai and Iwakiyama.

In other key bouts, Chiyotaikai, still reeling from Tuesday's loss to Dejima, was outclassed by second-ranked maegashira Wakanosato, who wrapped up the ozeki and toppled him with a well-worked beltless arm throw. Tochiazuma was next to bite the dust.

Tochiazuma looked to be in control of his bout against Kotooshu but could not finish the job and the Bulgarian komusubi hit back and tipped the ozeki over the straw bales with a thigh-grabbing push down, leaving both men on 3-1.

Ozeki Kaio, however, eased his relegation worries with a workmanlike third win over winless Kyokushuzan.

"Kadoban" ozeki Kaio, who his battling against demotion from sumo's second rank for a record-equaling seventh time, worked Kyokushuzan to the ring's edge and finished the Mongolian off with a one-handed shove.

Kaio, who has blown several opportunities for promotion to yokozuna in recent years, withdrew from the summer meet with a hip injury after a bright start and needs eight wins to retain his ozeki status.

At sumo's third rank of sekiwake, rising star Hakuho of Mongolia (3-1) led Russian Roho on a wild goose chase before bumping him out to a third loss but Kotomitsuki (2-2) was helpless to stop Dejima cranking out an impressive win to improve to 3-1.

Earlier, eighth-ranked maegashira Iwakiyama preserved his share of the early lead when he sent Aminishiki (1-3) to the sandy surface with an overarm throw.

In an earlier bout, sumo's clown prince Takamisakari (2-2) trudged back to the locker room dazed and confused after running into a wall in the shape of 10th-ranked maegashira Jumonji, who is one win behind the leading trio at 3-1.

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