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Friday, May 12, 2006

Miyabiyama upsets Hakuho at summer basho

Sekiwake Miyabiyama capitalized on a momentary lapse of concentration by newly promoted ozeki Hakuho to earn his fifth win and kept a share of the lead with Chiyotaikai in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

News photo
Komusubi Ama forces out ozeki Tochiazuma for his first win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Miyabiyama barely stayed inside the ring while making a desperate slap-down attempt after Hakuho moved to the verge of victory with a convincing belt-grip style of sumo but only failed to add the finishing touch in a bout between unbeaten wrestlers.

The result of the day's final match left Miyabiyama tied for the lead with ozeki Chiyotaikai in the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho is now one win off the pace after his chances of claiming his first Emperor's Cup improved following the withdrawal of fellow Mongolian and grand champion Asashoryu.

Asashoryu, who beat Hakuho in a championship playoff at the spring meet in March, suffered an elbow injury in a second-day bout after entering the tournament as a heavy title favorite.

In-form Chiyotaikai made the most of his trademark series of powerful slaps to send No. 4 maegashira Tokitenku (1-4) out of the ring in a matter of seconds for another win.

Chiyotaikai, along with Hakuho, has emerged as a strong title contender in the absence of Asashoryu in his 44th appearance in the ozeki rank. He has won three Emperor's Cups.

Ozeki Tochiazuma dashed his hopes of earning promotion to sumo's ultimate rank after the summer meet with his third loss, crumbling against pint-sized Mongolian trickster Ama.

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