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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kotooshu, Asashoryu recover with victories

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu dispatched Hokutoriki to come back from a first-day loss while yokozuna Asashoryu also rebounded on the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Up close and personal: Yokozuna Asashoryu grapples with top-ranked maegashira Wakanoho on the second day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

Kotooshu, who is chasing promotion to sumo's ultimate rank of yokozuna, carefully placed his hands for a series of solid shoves before knocking out the winless No. 2 maegashira to get his campaign rolling at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

A day earlier, Kotooshu once again proved a pushover against Aminishiki, losing his sixth straight meeting with the top-ranked maegashira in dramatic fashion.

The 25-year-old was so listless, in fact, he left many wondering what had become of his dominating performance when he went 14-1 to become the first European to win a title at the summer meet in May.

Kotooshu appears to have gotten rid of his opening day jitters, but only time will tell if he can maintain his cool as the action heats up at the 15-day meet.

Sumo legend Chiyonofuji was the last wrestler to gain promotion to yokozuna after a first-day defeat, winning 14 straight bouts after his slip up to claim the title at the 1981 Nagoya basho.

Asashoryu's matchup against 20-year-old Russian Wakanoho was not pretty, the Mongolian yokozuna looking unsure of himself before executing a pulling underarm technique to pick up his first win. Wakanoho, a No. 1 maegashira, slipped to 0-2.

Fellow yokozuna Hakuho, meanwhile, made short work of Aminishiki (1-1).

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