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Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

Asashoryu, Hakuho remain on collision course

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Asashoryu floored Kotoshogiku to stay on course for his 25th Emperor's Cup at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

News photo
Powerful move: Yokozuna Asashoryu shoves Kotoshogiku to the clay surface on Friday. KYODO PHOTO

The Mongolian firebrand (6-0) retained his share of the lead with fellow yokozuna Hakuho and maegashira Yoshikaze, but Chiyotaikai's umpteenth bid to save his ozeki rank took a fresh hit with a fourth consecutive loss.

Asashoryu once again proved an immovable object at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, fending off Kotoshogiku's (3-3) attempt to gain control of his belt and sending the No. 2 maegashira tumbling to the clay surface.

Hakuho was equally impressive in the day's finale, getting a firm left-handed grip on Goeido's (2-4) belt to set up a textbook pulling overarm throw and make it eight wins in eight against the komusubi.

Chiyotaikai gained the early momentum against Aminishiki (3-3), but paid for a moment of hesitancy and got twisted around and bumped out by the top-ranked maegashira.

Kaio leveled his mark at 3-3 after huffing and puffing his way past No. 2 maegashira Tokitenku (1-5), and Harumafuji (3-3) also bounced back from defeat the previous day by bulldozing komusubi Kisenosato out to a fourth loss.

Bulgarian grappler Kotooshu wrapped up Takekaze (2-4) with a bear hug to remain one win off the pace but Kotomitsuki (3-3) hit the dirt just before Bushuyama (3-3) stepped outside the ring in his first meeting with the third-ranked maegashira.

Estonian giant Baruto (4-2) claimed sekiwake bragging rights by lifting out Mongolian Kakuryu (2-4) and calmly plopping him over the ridge.

Yoshikaze (6-0), a No. 9 maegashira, showed nifty footwork to thrust down sixth-ranked Mongolian Kyokutenho (2-4).

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