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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hakuho retains share of lead

NAGOYA (AP) Yokozuna Hakuho easily defeated Takamisakari on Friday to stay tied for lead with Kotomitsuki at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Mongolian Hakuho wrapped Takamisakari up at the faceoff and twisted the No. 4 maegashira down to improve to 6-0.

Takamisakari, who spent more energy in his pre-bout face-slapping routine than the in the actual bout, dropped to 1-5.

The 22-year-old Hakuho was promoted to grand champion in May, becoming the fourth non-Japanese to reach sumo's highest rank. Hakuho gained promotion after winning both the spring and summer tournaments this year.

Kotomitsuki maintained a perfect record when he got a hold of Ama's belt and lifted his fellow sekiwake out to improve to 6-0.

Mongolian Ama dropped to 2-4.

Yokozuna Asashoryu was pushed back at the faceoff by Toyonoshima but recovered and sent the No. 4 maegashira toppling to the dirt surface with an arm throw.

Mongolian Asashoryu is one win back at 5-1, while Toyonoshima dropped to 1-5.

No. 2 maegashira Dejima fought off a series of arm thrusts and shoved ozeki Chiyotaikai out to pick up his third win against three losses.

Chiyotaikai forced Dejima back to the edge but wasn't able to finish his opponent off and fell to 3-3.

Ozeki Kaio was the beneficiary of a poor faceoff by third-ranked maegashira Takekaze, who lost his footing at the start of the bout and dropped to 0-6.

Kaio, who just had to tap Takekaze on the shoulders, improved to 5-1.

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