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Monday, Sept. 17, 2007

Hakuho dumps Homasho on eighth day to remain one back

Kyodo News

Mongolian grand champion Hakuho manhandled Homasho to knock down his seventh win Sunday, remaining one win behind undefeated sekiwake Aminishiki at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho moved in quickly after the "tachiai" face-off, getting his right hand on the No. 1 maegashira's belt before shoving him hard to the dohyo surface at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Homasho slipped to an even 4-4 mark.

Hakuho, who sits at 7-1 with three others wrestlers, including ozeki Chiyotaikai, is aiming for his first title victory at sumo's highest rank but is on a collision course with upstart Aminishiki, who dominated Tochinonada from start to finish in his match to keep a spotless mark.

Aminishiki got his right hand in for a deft underhand grip on his opponent's mawashi, tugging the No. 2 maegashira off-balance before ushering Tochinonada (2-6) over the straw bales.

Newly promoted ozeki Kotomitsuki (6-2), meanwhile, went on a relentless attack out of the crouch, charging Kakuryu (2-6) to the edge before dumping the No. 2 maegashira forward inside the ring.

But it was another day of woe for Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, who was sent sprawling to his third defeat by the diminutive Toyonoshima (5-3).

Kotooshu, who is 23 centimeters taller than the No. 5 maegashira, was tossed to the dirt surface by an underarm throw.

JSA welcomes Asa

Grand champion Asashoryu, who is currently in his native Mongolia recuperating from a stress disorder and injuries, will be welcome to participate in the winter regional training meet in December, the Japan Sumo Association said Sunday.

The JSA said that as long as Asashoryu makes a smooth recovery, he could take part in the Dec. 2-4 tournament that will take place in Oita, Fukuoka and Gunma prefectures.

Asashoryu has been barred from the ongoing autumn meet and the Kyushu basho in November and is scheduled to return to Japan sometime after October.

"If his health is good he will probably be able to take part in the winter regional tour," JSA chairman Kitanoumi said. "I want him to get in shape aiming for the New Year meet in January and train very hard."

Takasago, Asashoryu's stable elder, is adamant that the yokozuna take part in the winter regional tour, especially since he was suspended for playing in a charity soccer match in Mongolia.

"He has to participate in the winter regional tour," Takasago said.

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