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Monday, Nov. 28, 2005

Asashoryu closes Kyushu with another win

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Record-breaking yokozuna Asashoryu celebrated an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup win by beating up ozeki Chiyotaikai on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu receives the Prime Minister's Cup from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

A day after clinching the title, the 25-year-old Mongolian magician looked stunned as Chiyotaikai (11-4) locked him up at the charge with a firm grip on his throat in the day's finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

But Asashoryu came roaring back and wrapped his opponent up with a bear hug and bounced him out to wrap up the basho with his 84th win of the year and a 14-1 record.

Asashoryu, who has lost just six bouts in 2005, also set a new record of 84 wins in a year. On Friday, he surpassed the previous record of 82 set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978.

The lone yokozuna in the top flight is also the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a single year. His 15th career title put him in fifth place on the all-time list.

Meanwhile, Kotooshu, who on Friday got revenge on Asashoryu after losing out in a championship playoff in the autumn meet, was no match against local favorite Kaio.

Kaio (10-5) swung the Bulgarian around and down to the delight of home fans but Kotooshu can take comfort from the fact that his 11-4 showing has assured him a move up the sumo ladder to the second-highest rank of ozeki for the next meet.

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