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Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007

Asashoryu takes over top spot

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu posted a hard-fought win over Miyabiyama on Monday to move into sole possession of the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, left, downs No. 5 maegashira Takamisakari on the ninth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu got a left-hand grip of Miyabiyama's belt and waltzed the sekiwake grappler out to improve to 8-1. Miyabiyama fell to 2-7 in the 15-day tourney.

The vaunted Asashoryu, who is gunning for his 20th Emperor's Cup, is one win ahead of four other wrestlers.

Mongolian Hakuho improved to 6-3 when fellow ozeki Tochiazuma slipped on the sand and fell to 4-5.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai stayed in the hunt for the Emperor's Cup when he shoved Kaio back at the faceoff and then swatted his opponent down to improve to 7-2.

Ozeki Kaio put up little resistance and dropped to 5-4.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu was having none of the pre-bout antics of fifth-ranked maegashira Takamisakari and deployed a frontal push out to give both wrestlers a record of 6-3.

Takamisakari gets the crowd riled up with a routine that includes beating his chest and slapping himself in the face.

In earlier bouts, rank-and-filers Tamanoshima and Tamakasuga both lost to fall out of the lead.

Ninth-ranked maegashira Toyonoshima shoved out No. 11 Tamakasuga to give both wrestlers 7-2 records while No. 13 Yoshikaze (5-4) upset fourteenth-ranked Tamanoshima, who fell to 7-2.

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