Mon, Jul 19, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Asashoryu takes Emperor's Cup for fourth straight time


Grand champion Asashoryu ran away with his fourth straight Emperor's Cup on yesterday, bowling over ozeki Kaio at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

The championship was a tight race to the last, with five wrestlers vying for the Emperor's Cup.

Ultimately, Asashoryu's one-win lead atop the standings going into the final day's bouts was decisive. It was the Mongolian-born wrestlers eighth title overall -- proving his mettle as the sole reigning yokozuna, sumo's most prestigious rank.

"I remembered how sad I was for not winning last year's Nagoya tournament and so I gave it everything I had," Asashoryu said.

Asked what he will strive for next, Asashoryu said: "The Tokyo tournament. I've still never won it before."

In the earlier showdown of title contenders, Miyabiyama outlasted Asasekiryu, keeping the compact Mongolian at bay by grabbing his neck before hoisting him out by the belt. Miyabiyama, a No. 7 maegashira, improved to 12-3, while No. 10 maegashira Asasekiryu fell to 11-4.

Also, No. 14 maegashira Toyozakura also kept alive his hopes of a shot at the trophy with his 12th win over Shimotori. His toes on the rope marker and his back arched, Toyozakura pulled off a last-second spin that left a stunned Shimotori stumbling out.

A clash of the ozekis ended without a fight. Chiyotaikai finished with a win, going 10-5 after Musoyama forfeited due to injury.

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