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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006

Hakuho rebounds on second day, Asa keeps going strong

Ozeki Hakuho toppled Dejima to rebound from a first-day loss while yokuzuna Asashoryu stayed perfect with a demolition of Tamanoshima on the second day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Ozeki HakuhoO, left, grapples with maegashira No. 3 Dejima on the second day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho, who is gunning for yokozuna promotion with a strong showing of 13 or more wins this time out, shrugged off his defeat to Kisenosato from the first day by tossing aside former ozeki Dejima like a rag doll while backpedaling after the face-off at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. Dejima slipped to his second defeat.

The Mongolian ozeki, however, still appeared somewhat stiff and faces an uphill battle to reach sumo's ultimate rank at the 15-day meet.

In the day's final bout, Asashoryu read Tamanoshima like a book, smacking his opponent from side to side before pulling him forward onto the dohyo surface to improve to 2-0. Tamanoshima remained winless.

Asashoryu is aiming to win back-to-back titles and his 18th career Emperor's Cup. He has not won a title in Tokyo this year but is the odds-on favorite to lift the tournament hardware.

Ozeki Tochiazuma fell to his second straight defeat when he was muscled out by sekiwake Kotomitsuki (2-0) in textbook fashion.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu wasted little time dispatching 20-year-old Kisenosato (1-1), getting both hands wrapped around the komusubi before powering him out.

Kotooshu had begun to fade into the shadows in recent tournaments, after sustaining a knee injury but is finally beginning to show signs of life.

Ozeki Kaio, however, was sent flailing out in a weak display to suffer his second straight loss when Georgian komusubi Kokkai (1-1) charged like a bull after the faceoff.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai (2-0) pounded out Mongolian rank-and-filer Tokitenku with a hard shove to the chest when the No. 2 maegashira stopped in his tracks inexplicably after the faceoff after absorbing a shot to the neck. It was Tokitenku's first loss. In another key bout, sekiwake Miyabiyama used his beefy thrusts to put Tamakasuga (1-1) on his heels before swatting his opponent to the ground without breaking a sweat.



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