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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hakuho dominant in victory

Kyodo News

Yokozuna-promotion chasing Hakuho disposed of rank-and-filer Kokkai to improve to 2-0 Monday while grand champion Asashoryu plowed over Homasho to remain undefeated at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Ozeki Kotooshu (right) unleashes an upper-arm throw to komusubi Toyonoshima on Monday during the second day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho moved a step closer in his bid for promotion to sumo's highest rank with a demolition of Georgian No. 2 maegashira Kokkai, who slipped to 0-2 at the 15-day meet.

The Mongolian ozeki moved in quickly for a left-handed grip on Kokkai's mawashi before dumping him over the ridge with a powerful overarm throw.

Hakuho, who beat Asashoryu in a playoff in March to win his second overall title, is hoping to put his demons behind him after failing twice to gain promotion to grand champion last year.

Asashoryu, aiming for his 21st Emperor's Cup and first title in two basho, never gave Homasho a chance to get rolling in the day's final at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The Mongolian yokozuna rammed the winless No. 1 maegashira with his left shoulder and used his hand to mash his opponent in the face and abruptly out of the ring.

Meanwhile, the remaining three ozeki walked away unscathed, although Kaio and Kotooshu both had close calls in their respective bouts.

Kaio (2-0) escaped a narrow defeat when he was shoved to the edge by Kotoshogiku before regaining his composure to slap down the winless komusubi.

Chiyotaikai unleashed a salvo of his trademark thrusts on Tokitenku, sending maegashira flying over the straw bales to help ease his relegation worries.

Chiyotaikai faces demotion for a record 10th time in his career and must notch eight wins to keep his rank.

Bulgarian Kotooshu (2-0) also had to dodge a bullet when he went tumbling to the dohyo surface at the hands of newly promoted komusubi Toyonoshima (0-2). The pair fell at nearly the same time, but Toyonoshima's hand touched the dirt before the ozeki landed.

Newly promoted Mongolian sekiwake Ama came out of the crouch attacking before wrenching down Tamanoshima (0-2) with an arm technique to improve to 2-0.

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