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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Toyonoshima derails Kotooshu, shares lead

NAGOYA (Kyodo) If Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu was hoping to shed his image of once having had a sweet tooth for baking caramel-filled cakes, he is still a long way off from portraying himself with a newfound killer instinct.

News photo
On the tight rope: Komusubi Toyonoshima throws down ozeki and yokozuna contender Kotooshu, handing the Bulgarian his second loss of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium on Tuesday. KYODO PHOTO

Kotooshu fell to his second defeat in three days at the hands of perennial tormentor Toyonoshima Tuesday and has quickly turned his bid for a promotion to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna into a lost cause at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Kotooshu lost his fourth straight match to Toyonoshima, again falling victim to the komusubi's perfectly timed beltless arm throw for a 1-2 record. Toyonoshima stayed perfect at 3-0.

Having cracked under pressure twice with the Emperor's Cup in his sights in 2005, Kotooshu earned the unwanted reputation of being a "choker." The image of him baking cakes as a boy in Bulgaria didn't help and he has insisted there is "no more cake baking."

After bouncing back from relegation to become the first European to win a title with an outstanding mark of 14-1 at the summer meet in May, Kotooshu appeared to have found a powerful new form that could propel him to sumo's summit.

But after a first-day loss to Aminishiki and his defeat on the third day, the sumo powers that be are unlikely to even consider him for promotion this time around.

Asashoryu, meanwhile, picked up his second straight win after a first-day defeat with a quick dismantling of Aminishiki to improve to 2-1 in the day's finale at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

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