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Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009

Yokozuna maintain steady starts in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Asashoryu made mincemeat out of Aminishiki while rival yokozuna Hakuho also won his second straight in a demolition of Takekaze at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

News photo
Talk to the hand: Chiyotaikai thrusts a blow to the face of Kakuryu at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday. KYODO PHOTO

Asashoryu got inside to hem up Aminishiki immediately after the face-off before slamming his opponent into the ringside seats when the No. 1 maegashira tried a counter maneuver for a force out at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. Aminishiki slipped to 0-2.

The fiery yokozuna from Ulan Bator is seeking his second consecutive title after winning his career 24th Emperor's Cup in a playoff against Hakuho on the final day of the September meet.

In the day's final bout, Hakuho jostled for leverage against Takekaze before getting both hands underneath for a firm belt grip and waltzing the winless top-ranked maegashira over the edge. Asashoryu and Hakuho lead a pack of 12 wrestlers at 2-0.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu muscled out Tochiozan (0-2) to pick up a second win, while demotion-threatened Chiyotaikai railroaded Mongolian Kakuryu (0-2) in a lopsided affair to also improve to 2-0.

Chiyotaikai faces demotion from sumo's second highest rank for a record 14th time, but has said he will continue his career even if he fails to post eight wins here to maintain his rank.

Hometown favorite Kaio was dumped abruptly to the dirt surface by komusubi Kisenosato, who improved to 1-1, with a beltless arm throw to slip to his first defeat.

Mongolian ozeki Harumafuji, meanwhile, bounced back from a first-day loss, getting both hands wrapped around Goeido (0-2) before toppling the komusubi over the edge.

Kotomitsuki grappled briefly after the face-off with Tokitenku (0-2) before deploying a well-timed shoulder-pulling technique to pick up a second win.

No. 2 maegashira Kotoshogiku (2-0) got the jump on Baruto (1-1), getting both arms under his opponent's armpits before grinding the Estonian sekiwake over the ridge.

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