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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hakurozan no threat to Asa

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu made mincemeat of Russian Hakurozan to remained undefeated Saturday while yokozuna-chasing Hakuho tossed aside Kakizoe to stay one off the pace on the seventh day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Chiyotaikai glares at No. 3 maegashira Roho after defeating the Russian on the sixth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium on Saturday. Roho is in trouble after attacking two photographers following the match. Apparently Roho was set off by something Chiyotaikai said. Story on Page 19. KYODO PHOTO

Asashoryu maintained his share of the lead with ozeki Tochiazuma, flattening Hakurozan in a lopsided bout to improve to 7-0 at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Asashoryu, who is aiming for his 17th career title, got both hands wrapped around his opponent before calmly placing him over the edge with minimal effort. Hakurozan fell to 2-5.

Hakuho, who won the summer meet in May in his debut at ozeki, absorbed Kakizoe's slaps and thrusts before sending his opponent sprawling to the sandy surface with an arm pull-down technique. Kakizoe dropped to 2-5.

Hakuho is aiming to become the first wrestler since former grand champions Futabayama and Terukuni to achieve yokozuna status after just two basho at sumo's second-highest rank.

In the day's penultimate bout, tempers flared after Chiyotaikai deployed his trademark thrusting attack to send Roho (4-3), the elder brother of Hakurozan, flying into the ringside seats to earn his sixth win.

The Kokonoe ozeki exchanged words with the No. 3 maegashira, apparently angry for a false start before the faceoff.

Tochiazuma, who entered the 15-day meet needing eight wins to keep his ozeki status, hardly broke a sweat as he came charging forward to send winless Kyokushuzan out in a matter of seconds for his seventh straight win.

Kaio (5-2) was sent over the edge in a shock defeat by 20-year-old Kisenosato (2-5), who moved in for a firm two-handed belt grip before ushering the ozeki over the ridge.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, who has been suffering from a nagging knee injury, dodged a bullet when he slapped sekiwake Miyabiyama down at the ring's edge as his own foot stepped out.

Ringside judges ruled that Miyabiyama's hand touched the dirt first, sending Miyabiyama to a fourth defeat and dimming his hopes to regain the ozeki rank he lost five years ago.

Georgian Kokkai swatted down crowd favorite Takamisakari.

Kokkai, who appeared to injure his hip during the bout, picked up his fourth win while Takamisakari dropped to 1-6.

Estonian Baruto was shoved out to his second defeat when Futeno (4-3) wrapped his arms around his larger opponent and barged him over.

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