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Friday, July 13, 2007

Hakuho, Kotomitsuki move to 5-0

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Hakuho disposed of Asasekiryu to remain in a share of the lead with a spotless record, while Asashoryu stayed hot in pursuit at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

In the day's penultimate bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Hakuho controlled the bout from start to finish, roughing up his opponent with a series of hard shoves before knocking him out of the ring to improve to 5-0.

The newly promoted yokozuna got revenge against Asasekiryu (2-3) after suffering a defeat to his countryman on the first day of last year's Nagoya Basho.

Hakuho is on a 21-match winning streak after winning the summer title in May with a perfect 15-0 record.

The 22-year-old earned promotion to sumo's summit after winning back-to-back tournaments and is aiming to become only the eighth wrestler to lift the Emperor's Cup in his yokozuna debut.

Yokozuna Asashoryu, meanwhile, manhandled winless Takekaze, pulling his opponent off-balance by the shoulder after a short exchange of shoves to improve to 4-1.

Asashoryu appears to have rebounded from a first-day loss to komusubi Aminishiki and is gunning for his 21st Emperor's Cup.

In other major bouts, Kotomitsuki hit Mongolian Tokitenku (2-3) with a bone-crushing blow at the charge and sent his opponent out from the rear in a matter of seconds to remain undefeated in a tie with Hakuho.

Ozeki Kaio was late out of the crouch in his bout against Ama but made up for lost time, muscling the sekiwake over the straw bales to stay one off the pace at 4-1. Ama slipped to 2-3.



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