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Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008

Hakuho stays perfect

Kyodo News

Undefeated yokozuna Hakuho continued his rampage with a demolition of Miyabiyama, while rival yokozuna Asashoryu disposed of Dejima to stay one off the pace at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

News photo
Maegashira No. 7 Takekaze shoves maegashira No. 6 Hokutoriki to the ground on the seventh day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

Hakuho was never flustered by Miyabiyama (2-5), who did his best to rattle the yokozuna with an onslaught of his beefy slaps in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan. After calmly getting his hand in for a belt grip, Hakuho tossed the former ozeki to the dirt surface to improve to 7-0.

Asashoryu is tied with rank-and-filer Kyokutenho and komusubi Kotoshogiku, one behind the leader at 6-1.

Sumo's four ozeki, meanwhile, are nowhere in sight of a shot at the title and the meet is quickly heating up as a battle between the Mongolian grand champions as the basho enters the second week.

In the day's penultimate bout, Asashoryu was late off the charge but used Dejima's momentum to toss his opponent over the edge when the komusubi charged forward. Dejima fell to 2-5.

Back in the ring it was another day in the doldrums for sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki. Veteran Kaio was the only one to save face with a dominant showing against Tochinonada.

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