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Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009

Asashoryu collects 10th win

Kyodo News

Asashoryu's pre-bout staredown was enough to send Kisenosato running scared.

The Mongolian yokozuna champion muscled out the sekiwake in convincing fashion Tuesday, improving to 10-0, while rival yokozuna Hakuho stayed hot in pursuit one off the pace with nine wins at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

But with just five days remaining in the 15-day meet, Sadogatake ozeki duo Kotomitsuki and Kotooshu dropped to their second defeats, leaving them in a tie for third with komusubi Baruto and rank-and-filer Hokutoriki at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu had psyched out Kisenosato before the pair even faced off, glaring at him from ringside while his opponent did his best to return the favor. By match time, Kisenosato was looking everywhere but in the yokozuna's direction.

Asashoryu, who is seeking his 24th career title and first championship in three meets, hit Kisenosato with a powerful body slam to send him to a fifth loss.

Hakuho stumbled in his match against Kakuryu and was almost sent packing but the yokozuna regrouped, spinning around while off-balance to pull the No. 3 maegashira over by the arm. Kakuryu fell to 7-3.

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