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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Asa improves to 10-0

OSAKA (Kyodo) Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu kept his undefeated streak alive with a disposal of countryman Kyokutenho to remain the sole leader at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Asashoryu made it a perfect 10-0 with a precise execution of Kyokutenho in the day's final, while rival yokozuna Hakuho bumped off Russian youngster Wakanoho to stay hot in pursuit, one off the pace at 9-1, at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Asashoryu was never in trouble, and after the pair grappled briefly, used one hand to sweep out Kyokutenho's leg while deploying an underarm throw to dump his opponent. Kyokutenho fell to 7-3.

Hakuho made quick work of the 19-year-old Wakanoho, who tried desperately to use an arm throw on the yokozuna before he was abruptly shown the exit. Wakanoho slipped to an even 5-5.

Asashoryu is seeking his first title win in four meets and revenge over Hakuho, who spoiled his comeback from a two-tournament suspension with victory on the final day of the New Year meet.

Hakuho is aiming to become only the sixth wrestler since the establishment of the six-tournament system in 1958 to win four consecutive titles.

Tochiozan remained in a tie with Hakuho, shunting out Homasho (8-2) to stay in the title hunt.

Crowd favorite Takamisakari fell into the clutches of Estonian big man Baruto, who heaved his opponent up in the air with two hands before depositing No. 7 maegashira out of the ring to pick up a majority of wins. Takamisakari has the same 8-2 mark.

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