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Monday, March 23, 2009

Yokozuna march on

OSAKA (Kyodo) Asashoryu delivered another assured performance to floor Miyabiyama and retain his share of the lead with fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

News photo
Another one bites the dust: Hakuho sends Baruto on his way at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on Sunday. KYODO PHOTO

Asashoryu drew Miyabiyama (1-7) into his lair and landed a hammer blow to the third-ranked maegashira's forearms to make it eight wins out of eight, but Hakuho was given a much sterner test in the day's finale at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Although Hakuho never looked seriously troubled by Baruto (3-5), he needed every ounce of strength to shove out the Estonian giant to preserve his flawless record at the 15-day meet.

The yokozuna now have a two-win cushion here after nearest rival Kaio suffered a second loss.

Kaio was no match for fellow ozeki Kotomitsuki and was barged out with minimal fuss, leaving both men in tie for second place on 6-2.

Kotomitsuki came into the spring meet with his rank on the line after he pulled out late in the New Year meet because of a right ankle injury.

Two more wins here will keep him at sumo's second rank.

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