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Friday, July 15, 2005

Asashoryu rolls on, but ozeki duo dumped again

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu dispatched former ozeki Dejima en route to his fifth straight win, but ozeki pair Tochiazuma and Chiyotaikai both dropped to consecutive defeats at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

News photo
Hakuho slaps down Kotooshu on Thursday in the Nagoya Basho.

The Mongolian grand champion, who is seeking his fifth straight Emperor's Cup after a perfect 15-0 performance at the summer meet in May, stood firmly against his opponent before charging him over the edge in the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. Dejima, a No. 2 maegashira, slipped to 3-2.

Asashoryu, who is in a two-way tie for the lead with rank-and-filer Iwakiyama, can become the first wrestler in almost 20 years to win five tournaments in a row with victory here. Chiyonofuji was the last to achieve the feat in 1986-1987.

In other major bouts, Kaio (4-1), who needs to post eight wins to keep his ozeki status, was saved by the bell when Kakizoe (1-4) crumbled to his knees unassisted near the ring's edge after the ozeki almost backpedaled out himself.

Meanwhile, Tochiazuma (3-2) was left scratching his head when Mongolian Kyokushuzan swept him off his feet by lifting up his left leg near the edge, sending the ozeki crashing to his second straight defeat. Kyokushuzan picked up his first win.

Chiyotaikai never got his trademark thrusting attack going against Futeno and was abruptly heaved over the ridge by the No. 3 maegashira in a shock third straight loss. Futeno, who beat Kaio on the second day of the 15-day meet, improved to 2-3.

Iwakiyama, a No. 8 maegashira, bumped heads with Jumonji, wrenching his opponent down in an arm-lock maneuver to stay abreast with the yokozuna while handing Jumonji his second defeat.

Kokkai suffered his first loss, falling to Russian Roho.



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