Sat, Nov 27, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Asashoryu leads tournament with two days to go

AP , FUKUOKA, JAPAN

Grand champion Asashoryu moved a step closer to winning the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday with a key win over Miyabiyama.

Mongolian Asashoryu got a solid grip of Miyabiyama's belt shortly after the faceoff at Fukuoka Kokusai Center and calmly lifted the sekiwake wrestler out to pick up his 12th win against a sole loss. Miyabiyama fell to 8-3.

With two days left in the 15-day tourney, Asashoryu leads Wakanosato by one win with four others trailing a further win back.

In other major bouts, ozeki Kaio kept his dwindling title hopes alive when he used a well-timed arm throw at the edge to send fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai tumbling to the dirt surface.

Kaio, who won the Autumn tourney and was bidding for promotion to grand champion, stands at 10-3 while Chiyotaikai fell to 6-7.

Kaio won't get the 13 wins he needs for promotion to the sport's highest rank and only has a mathematical chance of winning this tournament.

Sekiwake Wakanosato stayed in contention with a hard-fought win over Kotonowaka.

Wakanosato bundled up the towering No. 5 maegashira after the faceoff and waltzed him out to improve to 11-2. Kotonowaka dropped to 8-5 Kotooshu posted an impressive win over Hakuho.

Bulgarian Kotooshu, a 10th-ranked maegashira, solidified his place as one of the sport's rising stars when he got both hands on the belt of Hakuho and threw the Mongolian teenager down to pick up his 10th win against three losses. Top maegashira Hakuho dropped to 10-3.

Komusubi Kotomitsuki posted an easy win over Russian Roho to notch his ninth win against four losses.

Kotomitsuki quickly got his arms around his opponent and sent the No. 9 maegashira to his fifth loss. Georgian-born Kokkai got back on the winning track when he muscled out No. 8 maegashira Buyuzan. Kokkai, a No. 2 maegashira.

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