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Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005

Asashoryu downs Dejima to stay undefeated in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu posted a hard-fought win over Dejima on Wednesday to remain undefeated and tied for the lead on the fourth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Sekiwake and ozeki contender Kotooshu slams down No. 4 maegashira Miyabiyama to improve his record to 3-1 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu, who is bidding for a record seventh straight Emperor's Cup, had his hands full with the No. 3 maegashira in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, but eventually prevailed after shoving Dejima out to improve to 4-0.

Asashoryu, the only yokozuna competing in sumo, is also bidding to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a year. Dejima, who put up a good fight against the Mongolian grappler, dropped to 0-4.

In other major bouts, Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu improved to 3-1 when he overpowered Miyabiyama to hand the fourth-ranked maegashira his first loss of the tourney.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki remained tied for the lead with Asashoryu when he overwhelmed fourth-ranked Iwakiyama to stay undefeated. Iwakiyama fell to 1-3.

Rank-and-filer Jumonji is also undefeated at 4-0 after a win over Katayama.

Local favorite Kaio barely broke a sweat, shoving out top maegashira Hakutoriki to pick up his third win against a lone loss. Struggling Hokutoriki dropped to 1-3.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai deployed his trademark arm thrusts to send Kakizoe back after the faceoff, and then deftly sidestepped the No. 2 maegashira to improve to 3-1. Kakizoe fell to 1-3.

Earlier Wednesday, ozeki Tochiazuma withdrew after aggravating a rib muscle injury in a bout on Tuesday.

Tochiazuma, who dropped to 2-2, initially sustained the injury during a regional training tour last month.

Unless he returns to action and posts eight wins, Tochiazuma will have to notch at least eight wins at the New Year meet in January to maintain his ozeki rank, the second highest in sumo.

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