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Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007

Asashoryu rolls countryman

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu overwhelmed his Mongolian compatriot Kyokutenho on Friday to remain one win off the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Eleventh-Ranked maegashira Tamakasuga, left, shoves No. 9 maegashira Kakizoe out of the ring on the sixth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday at Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu quickly forced Kyokutenho out with a right-hand grip.

Asashoryu, the only grand champion competing in sumo, improved to 5-1 and stays one win behind rank-and-filer Tamakasuga, who defeated Kakizoe in an earlier bout.

The Mongolian grand champion is bidding for his 20th Emperor's Cup in the 15-day tourney.

In other major bouts, ozeki Kotooshu twisted Aminishiki with his left-hand gripping the No. 2 maegashira's belt soon after the faceoff before forcing him out. Kotooshu of Bulgaria improved to 4-2 while Aminishiki fell to 1-5.

Bouncing back from Thursday's loss to Kotomitsuki, ozeki Tochiazuma used an arm throw to send Dejima onto the dirt surface near the center of the raised ring to improve to 3-3.

Dejima, a top-maegashira, fell to 2-4.

Ozeki Kaio bounced back from Thursday's loss to Kotoshogiku when he forced Mongolian Tokitenku out to chalk up his fourth win against two looses. Tokitenku, a second-ranked maegashira, dropped to 2-4.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai dispatched Kisenosato by fending off a pulling attempt before driving the komusubi out with a barrage of arm thrusts. Chiyotaikai improved to 5-1 while Kisenosato fell to 2-4.

Hakuho of Mongolia improved to 4-2 when he got both arms around Roho before waltzing the komusubi out. Russian Roho dropped to 1-5.

Ozeki Hakuho, who sat out the November competition, needs a winning record in this tourney to maintain his ozeki status.

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