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Monday, July 17, 2006

Asa too much for Ama

NAGOYA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu defeated fellow Mongolian Ama on Sunday to stay tied for the lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Chiyotaikai shoves out Hakurozan on the seventh day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium on Sunday. Chiyotaikai improved to 7-1. KYODO PHOTO

Fighting in the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, the 22-year old Ama put up a struggle at the ring's edge before Asashoryu finally found a firm grip on his belt and sent him down.

Asashoryu improved to a perfect 8-0, while the clearly outclassed Ama fell to 2-6.

Asashoryu, the only grand champion competing in sumo, was forced to sit out the summer tournament after injuring his elbow on the second day.

Ozeki Tochiazuma also improved to 8-0, winning by default as his scheduled opponent Roho began a three-day suspension for assaulting two photographers after Saturday's fractious bout with Chiyotaikai. The Russian rank-and-filer fell to 4-4.

Two other ozeki remained in the hunt at one loss apiece after Sunday's bouts, as did two rank-and-filers.

Chiyotaikai, who with Roho had received a warning about his ring conduct Saturday, made quick work on Sunday of the latter's compatriot Hakurozan. The ozeki pushed the Russian out of the ring to improve to 7-1. Hakurozan fell to 2-6.

Mongolian ozeki Hakuho muscled Kisenosato out of the ring in short order, boosting his record to 7-1 as he lowered the komusubi's to 2-7. The 21-year-old Mongolian won the Emperor's Cup in the May tourney and is gunning for promotion to grand champion.

Tamakasuga stayed on pace with one loss, shoving out his opponent Takekaze to improve to 7-1. Takekaze's record evened up to 4-4.

Also keeping his record to one loss, rank-and-filer Tamanoshima fended off a flurry of slaps in pushing Kitazakura out of the ring. Kitazakura fell to 3-5.

Meanwhile, Kotooshu dominated his fellow ozeki Kaio to improve to 6-2 in the day's penultimate bout. The Bulgarian quickly got a belt grip on his smaller foe to work Kaio out of the ring, sending his record down to 5-3.

In other major bouts, Iwakiyama handed the now 6-2 Tochinohana his second loss while evening his own record to 4-4 by pushing his foe down to the dirt.

Kotomitsuki won his bout with Baruto in seconds, easily tapping down the now 5-3 Estonian as he lost his footing. The sekiwake improved to 5-3.



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