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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hakuho, Asa post impressive victories

OSAKA (Kyodo) Sumo's two yokozuna defeated their respective opponents in convincing fashion Monday to stay undefeated on the second day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho tossed aside Mongolian compatriot Asasekiryu in the day's penultimate bout while Asashoryu gave Kakuryu, another Mongolian top-ranked maegashira, a sumo clinic in the day's final match to both improve to 2-0 at the 15-day meet.

Hakuho, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made short work of Asasekiryu with a slap-down maneuver while Asashoryu lifted his opponent up once after grappling at the ring's center before packing him over the edge with a cheeky shove at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Hakuho beat Asashoryu in an all-out rumble on the final day of the New Year meet in January and sumo enthusiasts are hoping for another action-packed showdown between the two yokozuna.

Asashoryu appears determined to capture his career 22nd Emperor's Cup title.

Hakuho, meanwhile, has a chance to become only the sixth wrestler since the establishment of the six-tournament system in 1958 to win four consecutive titles.

Three of sumo's ozeki, meanwhile, bounced back with a vengeance, except for a puzzling Kotomitsuki, who fell to a second straight loss in a match against komusubi Kisenosato.

Bulgarian lumberjack Kotooshu snapped a two-bout losing streak in bouts against winless Takekaze, slamming down the komusubi in a matter of seconds to get his first win in Osaka.

Veteran Kaio needed some leverage but dug down deep before waltzing Miyabiyama (0-2) over the edge with a belt-gripping technique for his first win.

Chiyotaikai, facing demotion for a record-tying 11th time, bulldozed over Aminishiki to improve to 2-0 while leaving his opponent with a 1-1 record.

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