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Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006

Asashoryu edges closer to title in Fukuoka

FUKUOKA (AP) Yokozuna Asashoryu brushed aside Miyabiyama on Wednesday to remain undefeated and in sole possession of the lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Kaio pushes out fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai on Wednesday in 11th-day action of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. KYODO PHOTO

In the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Asashoryu knocked sekiwake Miyabiyama off balance with a series of slaps at the faceoff and then shoved his opponent out to improve to 11-0. Miyabiyama dropped to 5-6.

Asashoryu has a one-win lead over rank-and-filer Homasho, who defeated Dejima to improve to 10-1.

Homasho, an 11th-ranked maegashira, twisted down No. 3 maegashira Dejima in an earlier bout to stay on the heels of Asashoryu. Dejima dropped to 7-4.

Local favorite Kaio, who is also in the title chase, impressed his hometown fans when he fought off a series of arm thrusts by fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai and forced the veteran out to improve to 9-2. Chiyotaikai fell to 8-3.

It's been an impressive run for Kaio, who came into the 15-day tournament needing a winning record to maintain his ozeki status and now finds himself in the run for the Emperor's Cup.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki wrapped up a winning record when he spun Tochiazuma around at the center of the ring and shoved him out to give both wrestlers a record of 8-3.

Kotooshu (8-3) used a right-handed arm throw to send komusubi Kisenosato (5-6) sprawling.

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