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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tochiazuma gets back on track in Osaka

OSAKA (Kyodo) Promotion-chasing ozeki Tochiazuma rebounded from a defeat to post his second win after the third day of action at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

News photo
Kotooshu heaves out Futeno on the third day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Tochiazuma only needed a matter of seconds to beat Hokutoriki with an easy force-out win after moving to his left quickly after the face-off to fend off any threats from the winless No. 2 maegashira at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

On Monday, Tochiazuma suffered a major setback in his bid to become the first Japanese yokozuna since former great Takanohana retired in 2003, falling to rank-and-filer Aminishiki for his first loss in the spring tournament.

In other key bouts, Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu survived a threat and worked hard to retain his perfect record after a bout against No. 3 maegashira Aminishiki (1-2).

Aminishiki made a sneaky "henka" move to his right at the faceoff to send Asashoryu to the straw bales. But the yokozuna came back strongly by locking Aminishiki's arm and went on to barge him out.

Bulgarian Kotooshu picked up his second win after a hard-fought bout against Futeno (1-2), who lunged low early on but allowed the ozeki to turn the tables and topple the No. 4 maegashira at the ring's edge with last-gasp shoves.

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