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Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006

Asashoryu retains share of lead in Fukuoka

FUKUOKA (AP) Yokozuna Asashoryu overpowered Kotoshogiku on Friday to remain undefeated and tied for the lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Chiyotaikai pushes Russian komusubi Roho on the sixth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday evening at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. Chiyotaikai won. KYODO PHOTO

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his 19th Emperor's Cup, wasted little time in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center when he dispatched No. 2 maegashira Kotoshogiku to improve to 6-0, tied with five others. Kotoshogiku fell to 1-5.

In other major bouts, local favorite Kaio kept his impressive run going when he shoved out Mongolian Ama to stay perfect at 6-0.

Kaio is well on his way to securing the winning record he needs to maintain his status at sumo's second-highest rank. No. 1 maegashira Ama saw his record drop to 0-6.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai also stayed in the lead at 6-0 when he used his trademark arm thrusts to send Russian Roho spinning off the ring. Komusubi Roho was handed his third loss against three wins.

Ozeki Tochiazuma remained one win off the pace.

Tochiazuma moved to 5-1 when he blasted out of the blocks and tripped up winless top maegashira Iwakiyama.

Kotooshu was the only ozeki casualty on the day when he was shoved down by third-ranked maegashira Tokitenku, who improved to 1-5. Kotooshu dropped to 4-2.

In their first meeting, Estonian Baruto and fan-favorite Takamisakari put on a show for the fans.

After butting heads at the faceoff, Baruto (5-1) got both arms around Takamisakari (3-3) and eventually forced him out.

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