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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hakuho takes big step toward promotion

The Associated Press

Mongolian Hakuho took a big step toward promotion to grand champion on Wednesday with a win over fellow ozeki Kaio at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo

After exchanging shoves at the center of the ring, Hakuho got a hold of Kaio's belt and hoisted the bulky veteran out to stay in sole possession of the lead at 11-0.

Kaio dropped to 8-3.

Hakuho won the Spring tournament in March and would ensure himself promotion to the sport's highest rank with another Emperor's Cup in this meet.

Mongolian Asashoryu, sumo's lone grand champion, bounced back from Tuesday's loss to Aminishiki with a one-sided win over Kotomitsuki.

Asashoryu took control of the bout at the faceoff when he knocked the sekiwake off balance and then shoved him out from the side to improve to 10-1.

Kotomitsuki dropped to 9-2.

Hakuho defeated Asashoryu on the final day of the March tourney and the two Mongolians look to be on a collision course to determine the winner here.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai used a barrage of arm thrusts to send Kisenosato out while improving to 9-2. Third-ranked maegashira Kisenosato dropped to 4-7.

Top maegashira Homasho overpowered Mongolian sekiwake Ama to give both wrestlers a record of 5-6.

Elsewhere, No. 10 maegashira Dejima kept his slim title hopes alive when he forced out eighth-ranked Asasekiryu to give both wrestlers a record of 9-2.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Takekaze dispatched Kotooshu to improve to 6-5. Ozeki Kotooshu of Bulgaria dropped to 7-4.

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