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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Asashoryu stays unbeaten, tied at the top

OSAKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu overpowered Iwakiyama on Wednesday to remain undefeated and tied for the lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu forces out No. 3 maegashira Iwakiyama on Wednesday in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Asashoryu, looking to return to his winning ways after Tochiazuma won the New Year tournament, forced No. 3 maegashira Iwakiyama to the edge and sent him into the first row of seats with a blow to the upper body.

Mongolian Asashoryu is tied for the lead with four others at 4-0. Iwakiyama fell to 1-3.

In another major bout, No.3 maegashira Aminishiki handed struggling ozeki Kaio his second loss of the 15-day meet.

Aminishiki got a right-hand grip of Kaio's belt and forced the bulky ozeki to the edge before shoving him out to improve to 2-2. Kaio, who needs a winning record to avoid demotion, also stands at 2-2.

Ozeki Tochiazuma kept his bid for promotion to grand champion alive with a win over Tamanoshima.

Tochiazuma, who needs at least 12 wins in this tourney, came in low at the faceoff and used a series of arm thrusts to the chest to send top maegashira Tamanoshima out of the ring.

Tochiazuma, who won the New Year tournament, improved to 3-1, while Tamanoshima was handed his third loss against a sole win.

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