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Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006

Asashoryu regains share of lead with win

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu overpowered Estonian wrestler Baruto on Saturday moved into a share of the lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Sekiwake Kotomitsuki pushes ozeki Hakuho's back to force him out, giving the yokozuna contender a costly third loss at the Autumn Tournament on Saturday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

Mongolian Asashoryu used a powerful arm thrust to the head of Baruto and then shoved the top maegashira off the raised ring in the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his 18th Emperor's Cup, improved to 6-1 and is in a four-way tie for the lead with Roho, Ama and Kotomitsuki. Baruto dropped to 4-2.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki all but dashed Hakuho's chances of promotion to grand champion when he got hold of the ozeki's belt, spun him around and shoved him out to improve to 6-1.

Mongolian Hakuho dropped to 4-3 and can only end up with 12 wins, one short of the 13 generally required to be considered for promotion.

Kotomitsuki, meanwhile, is right in the thick of things in the hunt for the title.

Mongolian Ama was handed his first loss when he was swatted down by fifth-ranked maegashira Iwakiyama, who improved to 4-3.

Ama appeared to injure his foot and hobbled off the raised ring with a 6-1 record.

Top maegashira Roho of Russia moved into a tie for the lead when he deployed a powerful arm thrust to send winless No. 4 maegashira Tamakasuga spinning off the dirt surface.

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