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Friday, Nov. 17, 2006

Asashoryu, Chiyotaikai hold share of lead

FUKUOKA (AP) Yokozuna Asashoryu made quick work of lower-ranked compatriot Ama on Thursday to chalk up his fifth straight win and stay tied for the lead of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Kaio unleashed an upper-hand throw to beat No. 2 maegashira Futeno on Thursday in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. KYODO PHOTO

Fighting in an all-Mongolian showdown in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Asashoryu spun his opponent around before forcing Ama off balance and tipping him to the dirt.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his 19th Emperor's Cup in this tournament and is the only competing grand champion, improved to 5-0, while Ama, a top-ranked maegashira, was kept winless at 0-5.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai deployed his trademark arm thrusts to the neck of Tokitenku before bulldozing him over the straw ridge to improve to 5-0. Tokitenku, a No. 3 maegashira, dropped to 0-5.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki remained tied for the lead at 5-0 after dispatching maegashira Takekaze with an arm-lock throw. Takekaze notched his fourth loss against one victory.

Also emerging at the front of the pack was ozeki Kaio, who downed Futeno with a quick overhand throw at center ring.

Kaio, who needs a winning record to keep his ozeki status, preserved his undefeated record and dealt Futeno his third loss against two wins.

Ozeki Tochiazuma kept his record on track with an easy win over Russian komusubi Roho, breaking an arm lock and snagging the Russian's belt with a firm left hand. Tochiazuma rose to 4-1, while Roho dropped to 3-2.

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