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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yokozuna Asashoryu bounces back from opening-day loss to Kisenosato

Kyodo News

Yokozuna Asashoryu rebounded from a shock opening-day defeat by toppling Estonian man-mountain Baruto for his first win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
First win: Yokozuna Asashoryu throws down No. 1 maegashira Baruto for his first victory at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

Looking to put Sunday's defeat to spunky komusubi Kisenosato behind him, Asashoryu charged in low at the faceoff and got both hands on Baruto's (0-2) mawashi before dumping the top-ranked maegashira to the sandy surface with a "shitatehineri" twisting underarm throw.

Chief rival and fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho also won comfortably and made it two wins out of two after bulldozing out Georgian grappler Kokkai in the day's penultimate bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who got revenge against Hakuho when he beat him on the final day of the spring meet in March, is seeking his 23rd Emperor's Cup.

Hakuho had spoiled Asashoryu's comeback from a two-tournament suspension with a victory on the last day of the New Year basho.

In other key bouts, relegation-threatened Bulgarian grappler Kotooshu stayed perfect and Chiyotaikai brought Kisenosato down to earth on a near perfect day for ozeki wrestlers.

Kotomitsuki (2-0) charged out second-ranked maegashira Wakanoho (0-2) with minimal fuss before Kotooshu, who must post a majority of wins at the 15-day meet to keep his ozeki status, dug deep to send Kyokutenho (0-2) spinning out with a well-worked underarm throw.

Chiyotaikai recovered from a wobbly start and saw off Kisenosato with a series of thrusts to the chest and neck but komusubi Asasekiryu (1-1) prevented another clean sweep for ozeki when he twisted Kaio around and bumped him out to a first loss.

Ama (2-0) made short work of third-ranked maegashira Kakuryu to secure back-to-back wins and Kotoshogiku (2-0) followed up to complete a winning double for sumo's third rank of sekiwake with a force-out win against onetime ozeki Miyabiyama (0-2).

Crowd pleaser Takamisakari (0-2) was unable to celebrate his 32nd birthday with a win, the goofy No. 7 maegashira easily getting bundled out by sixth-ranked Futeno (2-0)

In the lower ranks, Tochinoshin, the second wrestler from the former Soviet republic of Georgia in the makuuchi division after Kokkai, muscled out fellow makuuchi-division debutant Hakuba (0-2) to improve to 2-0.

Tochinoshin posted a 9-6 record and Mongolian Hakuba went 8-7 in the second-tier juryo division at the spring meet in March to win promotion.

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