Home > Sports > Sumo
  print button email button

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tochi downs Hakuho as Asa grabs share of lead at spring meet

OSAKA (Kyodo) Tochiazuma bounced back to hand promotion-chasing Mongolian sekiwake Hakuho his first loss and throw yokozuna Asashoryu a championship lifeline at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

News photo
Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (left) and No. 3 maegashira Aminishiki go flying into the front row of cushions on the 12th day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Hakuho's defeat gave Asashoryu (11-1) the chance to reclaim a share of the lead and the bully from Ulan Bator took full advantage by spanking relegation-haunted ozeki Kaio in the day's final bout at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Tochiazuma, whose fading hopes of promotion to yokozuna evaporated after Wednesday's defeat to Kaio, soaked up a barrage of slaps and thrusts from the Mongolian but held steady to bounce him out of the ring for a ninth win.

Lone yokozuna Asashoryu boosted his hopes of an eighth title in nine tournaments and cranked the heat back up on Kaio (5-7) when he bundled out the ozeki before losing his footing on the sandy surface.

The result left injury-plagued Kaio needing to win all of his remaining three bouts to retain his ozeki status.

His stable master indicated that the 33-year-old may retire if he fails to post a winning record this time but Kaio is eager to battle out the rest of the meet and hinted Wednesday he may have a change of heart.

In other key bouts, Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (9-3) disposed of Aminishiki (6-6) at the second time of asking, squashing the third-ranked maegashira in rematch when the pair went flying into the front row of cushions.

But ozeki Chiyotaikai (8-4) lost the plot when he tried to pull Kotomitsuki's ears off his head only for the sekiwake to recover and barge him out of the dohyo to ensure a winning record.

In a match-up between east European grapplers, Russian Roho, who is set for a drop in the rankings after a disappointing komusubi debut here, emerged victorious from a bullfight with Georgia's Kokkai. Both men have 3-9 records.

Komusubi Miyabiyama secured a majority of eight wins when the one-time ozeki beat top-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima (4-8) with a routine pull-down.

In earlier bouts, "Saltshaker" Kitazakura, who is emerging as a rival to Takamisakari in the popularity stakes, exchanged high fives with fans on the way back to the locker room after beating up Kakizoe (7-5) for a seventh win.

But goofball Takamisakari, famous for his chest-beating warm-up routine rather than his fighting qualities, was dumped to a defeat Mongolian Tokitenku (7-5) and dropped to 6-6.



Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.