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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Miyabiyama hands Asashoryu first loss

Kyodo News

Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu is starting to show the chinks in his flaking armor.

News photo
Up in the air: Top-ranked maegashira Miyabiyama forces yokozuna Asashoryu out of the ring on the third day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Tuesday. KYODO PHOTO

The yokozuna was pushed over like a featherweight to a first loss against Miyabiyama on the third day of action at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, countryman and fellow yokozuna Hakuho continued to show an indestructible confidence, extending his winning streak to 18 after having to battle Kotoshogiku twice in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who is looking for his first title win since March this year, shoved the hefty Miyabiyama (1-2) at the faceoff, only to step awkwardly off-balance before he was sent packing with ease by the former ozeki.

Hakuho, winner of the Nagoya meet in July with a perfect 15-0 record, was never daunted although he had to beat his opponent twice after the referee nullified the first match due to a false start.

Kotoshogiku (1-2) could do nothing as Hakuho tossed him into the ringside seats for a comfortable third win.

Hakuho has determined to draw the focus back in the raised ring at the 15-day basho, which has begun under a cloud after a recent alleged drug scandal involving three Russian wrestlers.

In other key bouts, Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu was a pushover for the second day in a row when he charged too high at the faceoff and was abruptly twisted over the edge by Mongolian No. 3 maegashira Kyokutenho (1-2) to a second defeat.

Kotomitsuki, meanwhile, was the second ozeki to bite the dust in a complete bumbling act against injury-hit komusubi Asasekiryu (1-2), who deployed a pulling overarm throw to toss his opponent over the ridge to a first defeat.

But Chiyotaikai came flying out of the blocks with blazing speed with his trademark thrusting attack, blasting away Toyonoshima (1-2) to remain undefeated.

Veteran ozeki Kaio gave youngster Kisenosato a sumo clinic, hanging close with his favored right-handed belt grip before tossing the winless No. 2 maegashira like a rag doll to improve to 2-1.

Estonian komusubi Baruto (1-2), who beat Kotooshu the previous day, got nothing rolling against Mongolian sekiwake Ama (2-1), who bulldozed the bigger wrestler over the edge in a matter of seconds.

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