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Monday, Nov. 23, 2009

Yokozuna remain perfect as Yoshikaze falls

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Asashoryu won handily over Tochiozan and Hakuho also reached 8-0 Sunday as the Mongolian yokozuna remained on a collision course at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Close quarters: Asashoryu finishes off Tochiozan at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday. KYODO PHOTO

With rank-and-filer Yoshikaze slumping to his first defeat of the 15-day basho, Asashoryu and Hakuho lead the way with ozeki Kotooshu and Tochinoshin lurking one win back.

Asashoryu stunned Tochiozan with a fierce slap at the charge and wasted no time in getting behind the third-ranked maegashira to take control at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Tochiozan (3-5) never had a hope of finding a way back and Asashoryu completed the job with a rear throw-down to stay on track for Emperor's Cup No. 25.

Asashoryu and Hakuho have both looked unstoppable here and are likely to pull into a clear two-horse race as the tournament winds down.

In the day's finale, Hakuho did his best "Terminator" impression, charging out of the blocks and slamming compatriot Kakuryu (2-6) to the dirt with an overarm throw.

Bulgarian bruiser Kotooshu drew in second-ranked Tokitenku (1-7) and unleashed a barrage of thrusts before forcing him to touch the clay surface with a well-timed hand pull.

In other bouts, ozeki Kotomitsuki (5-3) met little resistance from fourth-ranked Hokutoriki (4-4) in collecting his second win in a row and Kaio improved to 5-3 after pushing fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai a step closer to demotion from sumo's second-highest rank.

His rank on the line for a record 14th time here, Chiyotaikai (2-6) must win six of his remaining seven bouts to avoid slipping one rank down to sekiwake.

Estonian Baruto got the better of Mongolian Harumafuji (3-5) and scored a fifth win with a trademark lift-out technique.

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