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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hakuho keeps on winning

OSAKA (AP) Mongolian Hakuho took a big step toward claiming his second Emperor's Cup on Friday when he defeated ozeki Chiyotaikai at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

After a series of false starts in the day's penultimate bout, ozeki Hakuho absorbed a charge at the faceoff and then swatted Chiyotaikai down to improve to 12-1. Chiyotaikai was handed his sixth loss against seven wins.

Hakuho could win his first title since last year's summer tournament with a win over grand champion Asashoryu on Saturday.

In the day's final bout at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Mongolian Asashoryu overpowered Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu to pick up his 11th win.

Since losing his first two bouts, Asashoryu has won 11 in a row and still has a chance at securing his 21st title but will have to beat compatriot Hakuho on Saturday.

Kotooshu, who has a poor record against Asashoryu, dropped to 7-6.

Top maegashira Toyonoshima came bursting out of the blocks and forced out Kokkai to improve to 7-6.

Seventh-ranked maegashira Kokkai has had an impressive run but fell to 9-4 to drop out of the race for the Emperor's Cup.

Mongolian Ama wrapped up a winning record when he forced out No. 4 maegashira Takekaze, who dropped to 6-7.

Komusubi Ama improved to 8-5.

In an earlier bout, Russian Roho forced out Tochiozan, sending the No. 14 maegashira to a record of 10-3. Roho, a No. 7 maegashira, improved to 7-6.



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