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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Asa, Tochiazuma keep going

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Asashoryu dispatched of winless countryman Kyokutenho in textbook fashion to remained undefeated Friday, while ozeki Hakuho kept hot on the yokozuna's heels one off the pace with a sumo clinic of Kotoshogiku on the sixth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Mongolian Ozeki Hakuho beats No. 1 maegashira Kotoshogiku with an upper arm throw on the sixth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday. KYODO PHOTO

In the day's final bout, Asashoryu grappled with Kyokutenho at the ring's center before unleashing a fierce frontal thrusting attack and sending his opponent flying into the ringside seats at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Asashoryu, who is in the hunt for his 17th career title and first since his triumph at the March meet, improved to 6-0 to share the lead with ozeki Tochiazuma.

Hakuho, who won the summer meet in May, moved in low out of the crouch and sent winless Kotoshogiku tumbling to the dirt surface with an overarm throw. The Mongolian ozeki is in a group of eight wrestlers one off the lead at 5-1.

In other key bouts, relegation-threatened ozeki Tochiazuma hit 20-year-old Kisenosato with a salvo of hard slaps to the chest before knocking the newly promoted komusubi out to his fifth defeat.

Tochiazuma moved within two victories of the winning record he needs to keep his ozeki status.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai retreated out of the crouch but bounced back to send sekiwake Miyabiyama flailing over the edge with his trademark thrusting attack, improving his record to 5-1.

Miyabiyama, who is widely believed to need 11 wins to regain the ozeki rank he lost five years ago, dropped to 3-3.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, who is still recovering from a nagging knee injury, was late off the charge but pulled Ama off-balance before shoving him hard into the ringside seats to improve to 4-2. Ama, a fourth-ranked maegashira, fell to 2-4.

Ozeki Kaio backpedaled immediately after the faceoff but rallied to toss down Kakizoe (2-4) with an effective arm technique to stay one off the pace at 5-1.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki thwarted a violent neck grab from winless Mongolian trickster Kyokushuzan before dumping the top-ranked maegashira over the ridge with an arm-pulling technique to improve to an even slate of 3-3.

In the lower echelons, Aminishiki executed a well-timed twisting underarm throw to dump Iwakiyama, improving to 4-2 while leaving his opponent on 2-4.

Crowd favorite Takamisakari never had a fighting chance against former ozeki Dejima (3-3), who charged ahead full-throttle after the faceoff to send the struggling No. 8 maegashira crumbling over the edge to his fifth defeat.

Estonian big man Baruto got both hands wrapped around the back of Hokutoriki's mawashi immediately out of the crouch and lifted his opponent up into the air before slamming him over the edge.

Baruto, who had 11 wins in May and took part in the title race, improved to 5-1. Hokutoriki dropped to 1-5.

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