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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Asashoryu rebounds with win

Kyodo News

Asashoryu got his campaign for a 24th Emperor's Cup back up and running Wednesday with a fiery victory win over winless maegashira Takekaze at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu rebounded from Tuesday's shock defeat to Aminishiki in style, knocking Takekaze back with a pair of savage blows before blasting him into the ringside cushions to stay one win behind chief rival and fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho.

Hakuho remained in a share of the lead at 4-0 with a textbook "uwatenage" win over compatriot Kyokutenho in the day's penultimate bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Second-ranked Kyokutenho has a 2-2 mark.

Hakuho won the spring meet with a flawless 15-0 record and Asashoryu is out to prevent him from picking up the tournament hardware again by winning the title for first time in two basho.

In other action in the top ranks, ailing Chiyotaikai's demotion worries increased with a second straight defeat at the hands of Mongolian komusubi Kakuryu, but it was an otherwise good day for ozeki wrestlers.

Veteran grappler Kaio returned to winning ways as he swung around third-ranked Tamanoshima (1-3) and sent him packing with an impressive arm-grabbing force out technique to improve to 3-1.

Harumafuji stayed perfect, the wrestler formerly known as Ama sending giant-killing Goeido flying with an overarm throw and handing the sekiwake debutant his first loss in the process.

Newly engaged Bulgarian pin-up Kotooshu (3-1) brought top-ranked Aminishiki (1-3) back down a peg and chased him over the straw bales.

Kotomitsuki (2-2) forced out Homasho (0-4) but Chiyotaikai was no match for Kakuryu, who shrugged off a weak attack and bulldozed the ozeki out to move into the winning column.

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