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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Asa overpowers ozeki Chiyotaikai

OSAKA (Kyodo) Unbeaten Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu tossed aside ozeki Chiyotaikai on Wednesday, retaining the sole lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo

Asashoryu completely dominated Chiyotaikai in the day's penultimate bout to improve to a spotless 11-0, while rival yokozuna Hakuho snapped a three-bout losing streak in career matches against countryman Ama, extending his record to 10-1.

Chiyotaikai (7-4) went on a full-throttle charge, attempting a throat grab on Asashoryu, but the yokozuna never lost his composure before slamming the ozeki to the dirt with an underarm throw at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Hakuho, meanwhile, got a left hand in on the mawashi of Ama before flipping the sekiwake with a powerful overarm throw in the day's final bout. Ama, who has looked out of sorts at the Osaka meet, fell to a 4-7 mark.

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

It would be his 22nd Emperor's Cup, placing him in a tie with former yokozuna Takanohana.

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

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