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Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007

Yokozuna Asa increases victory streak to 18

Kyodo News

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu disposed of top-ranked maegashira Kotoshogiku on Monday, extending his winning streak to 18 straight bouts at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Second-Ranked maegashira Tokitenku, right, extends his right arm to the face of ozeki Kotooshu on Monday on the second day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Tokitenku won. KYODO PHOTO

Asashoryu, aiming for his fourth consecutive title, continued to dominate with an iron fist while four ozeki fell limp on the second day of action at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

In the day's final, Kotoshogiku (1-1) got inside after the faceoff but the yokozuna was the picture of composure as he got two hands on the front of his opponent's belt and calmly ushered him over the edge to improve to 2-0 at the 15-day meet.

Asashoryu, the red-hot favorite, is hoping to become only the fifth wrestler in sumo history to reach the milestone of 20 title victories.

In other key bouts, Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu was sent crashing to a shock defeat against Mongolian second-ranked maegashira Tokitenku, who used one of his hands to sweep out the ozeki's leg after getting him off-balance with a neck throttle.

Mongolian Hakuho was the second ozeki to bite the dust in a lopsided loss to Dejima (1-1), who steamrolled ahead to barge his opponent over the edge in a matter of seconds.

Hakuho (1-1), who missed the Kyushu basho with a broken toe, took a step in the wrong direction as he must post eight wins this time out to preserve his ozeki status.

Chiyotaikai was also sent sprawling to a first defeat when he was swatted down by sekiwake Miyabiyama (1-1), but 34-year-old Kaio (2-0) put up a strong fight against 21-year-old Kisenosato (0-2) before muscling the komusubi over the ridge to stay at 2-0.

Tochiazuma never got anything rolling against komusubi Roho, who got both hands around the ozeki's mawashi and powered him out of the ring for the fourth ozeki upset.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki (1-1) deployed a "henka" maneuver against Aminishiki (0-2) and sent the No. 2 maegashira flying into the ringside seats with a hard shove to the chest.

Takamisakari (2-0) had an all-out rumble with Asasekiryu (0-2) before dumping the Mongolian No. 6 maegashira over the edge.

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