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Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006

Asashoryu bounces back

Yokozuna Asashoryu rebounded from an upset loss to post his second win at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, while newly promoted ozeki Kotooshu won his second straight following an opening-day defeat.

News photo
Ozeki Tochiazuma pulls down No. 4 maegashira Hakurozan to stay undefeated at 3-0 in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Tuesday.

Asashoryu put his defeat at the hands of Kokkai behind him and wasted no time in shoving his way to crushing top-ranked Miyabiyama (1-2) at Ryogoku Kokugikan, leaving him one win behind the pace in his bid for an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup.

Kotooshu (2-1) appeared to have come back to winning ways with a solid win against winless komusubi Tamanoshima.

The Bulgarian giant, who began his ozeki campaign with a loss to Russian Roho on Sunday, sidestepped to the left at the face-off and then took the belt firmly before shrugging off a leg-trip attempt to finish off the bout with an uwatenage upper-arm throw.

Tochiazuma stayed on course to retain his ozeki rank with a little help from Russian fourth-ranked maegashira Hakurozan, who slipped when he tried to charge forward and crumbled to the sandy surface with a simple push.

With a 3-0 start, Tochiazuma needs at least five more wins to avoid a drop from the second-highest rank in sumo. Hakurozan is 1-2.

It was a bad day for veteran ozeki duo Kaio and Chiyotaikai.

Kaio suffered his second loss in the 15-day meet after showing little resistance to an initial charge from third-ranked maegashira Tochinohana (1-2) and backpedaling out of the ring, with his arm-lock throw proving too little, too late.

Chiyotaikai was bulldozed out of the ring in a matter of seconds and fell to his first loss after allowing No. 3 maegashira Takekaze (1-2) to capitalize on the ozeki's poor attempt to yank him down.



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