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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hakuho, Kotooshu remain unbeaten

Kyodo News

Yokozuna Hakuho tossed aside Kakuryu, and Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu also maintained his undefeated record for a share of the lead with a dismantling of Tokitenku on the ninth day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Overpowering: Yokozuna Asashoryu forces out sekiwake Ama on Monday during the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

Lurking in the shadows one off the pace is yokozuna Asashoryu, who improved to 8-1 with a frontal forceout of Mongolian countryman Ama in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho had no problems dismissing fellow Mongolian Kakuryu (3-6), getting inside for a firm grip before toppling the No. 3 maegashira over the edge with a well-worked overarm throw.

Kotooshu, meanwhile, kept a leery eye out for any fancy leg trips against Tokitenku (4-5) before getting a left-handed grip inside and bundling the Mongolian No. 4 maegashira over the straw bales to stay perfect.

Kotooshu came into the 15-day meet facing demotion, but he has been in Spartanic form and is now giving Hakuho and Asashoryu a run for their money as the scintillating title race heats up.

Asashoryu, who beat Hakuho on the final day of the spring meet in March, is aiming for his 23rd Emperor's Cup while Hakuho is in the hunt for his seventh career title and first in two basho.

It took Asashoryu some finagling for his preferred rightside-leaning grip against Ama (5-4), but he bulldozed the sekiwake over the edge in a matter of seconds once he got rolling.

In an all-ozeki affair, Kaio emerged the victor over rival Chiyotaikai (3-6), wrapping his rival up from behind before shoving him quickly over the edge to improve to 5-4.

Kotomitsuki was dragged down when Aminishiki teetered on one leg of the ring's edge and was ruled the winner after ringside judges called for a quick conference. Both men are at 5-4.

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