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Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006

Asashoryu wins Fukuoka Basho

FUKUOKA (AP) Yokozuna Asashoryu defeated ozeki Kotooshu on Saturday to win the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament for his 19th Emperor's Cup.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu downs Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu with a lower arm throw to clinch his 19th Emperor's Cup on the 14th day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Saturday. KYODO PHOTOS

Mongolian Asashoryu wrapped up the title with one day left in the 15-day tournament when he used a textbook arm throw to send Bulgarian Kotooshu tumbling off the raised ring in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

"I wanted to win it today," said Asashoryu. "I wasn't in great shape coming into the tournament, so it's very satisfying to win."

Asashoryu, who improved to 14-0, will be looking to secure a perfect record against Chiyotaikai on Sunday. Kotooshu fell to 9-5.

News photo
Yokozuna Asashoryu returns backstage and reacts to the fans after clinching his 19th Emperor's Cup by defeating ozeki Kotooshu on the 14th day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Saturday.

Fellow Mongolian Hakuho sat out the tournament because of injury but Asashoryu denied having the ozeki absent made it easier.

"I always push myself as hard as possible no matter who I'm facing," said Asashoryu. "There are a lot of strong rivals out there to contend with."

In other major bouts, local favorite Kaio was thrown down by Kisenosato to fall to 10-4. Komusubi Kisenosato improved to 7-7.

Despite the loss, it's been a good outing for Kaio, who wrapped up the winning record he needs to maintain his ozeki status while putting to rest rumors about retirement.

Tochiazuma took advantage of Chiyotaikai's sore right arm when he shoved his fellow ozeki out to improve to 10-4.

Chiyotaikai was unable to deploy his trademark arm thrusts and dropped to 9-5.

In an earlier bout, No. 11 maegashira Homasho defeated 14th-ranked Tamakasuga to improve to 12-2. Tamakasuga dropped to 9-5.

In an all-sekiwake showdown, Miyabiyama prevailed over Kotomitsuki, swatting his opponent down after the two wrestlers exchanged a series of slaps to the head.

Russian komusubi Roho took the easy way out when he dodged to his left at the faceoff and forced down Dejima to improve to 8-6. Third-ranked maegashira Dejima dropped to 9-5.

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