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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hakuho, Miyabiyama share lead after Chiyotaikai falls

Mongolian ozeki Hakuho stayed in a share of the lead with Miyabiyama on Wednesday with a convincing win over Tokitenku at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
No. 2 maegashira Asasekiryu unleashes an upper-arm throw to beat ozeki Kotooshu on Wednesday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho was never in danger in his bout against the No. 4 maegashira, twisting Tokitenku down by the neck after grappling at the center of the ring to improve to 10-1 along with sekiwake Miyabiyama, who beat ozeki Chiyotaikai in a head-to-head at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Tokitenku slipped to 3-8.

In the absence of injury-hit yokozuna Asashoryu, Hakuho has emerged as one of the top favorites to claim the title.

Chiyotaikai never got his trademark thrusting attack going and was upended into the ringside seats by Miyabiyama in a battle of co-leading wrestlers, slipping to 9-2.

Ozeki Kaio, meanwhile, was tripped up by sekiwake Kotomitsuki (6-5) to fall to his third defeat and exacerbated a chest injury in the process as he went flying over the edge.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (6-5), who has been struggling at the 15-day meet with injuries to his right knee and ankle, was dumped to second his straight loss in his bout with Asasekiryu, who improved to 8-3 for a winning record and his third ozeki kill of the meet.

In another key bout, Baruto won a slugfest with Tamanoshima (3-8) before getting both hands wrapped around his opponent's belt and heaving him over the edge for his ninth win to remain in contention.

The 197-cm wrestler from Estonia making his debut in the elite division won the second-tier juryo division with a perfect 15-0 record in March and has become a dark horse in the title race.

Mongolian Kyokushuzan continued his impressive run with a sixth straight win to improve to 9-2 after swatting down Iwakiyama (7-4) immediately after the faceoff.

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