Wed, Sep 21, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Kotooshu keeps the lead at Autumn Grand Sumo

AP , TOKYO

Bulgarian Kotooshu, left, throws Iwakiyama onto the ring to win their bout in the Autumn Grand Sumo tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena on Monday. Kotooshu remains undefeated and in sole possession of the lead at the 15-day tournament. Kotooshu improved to 9-0 while Iwakiyama dropped to 4-5.

PHOTO: AP, KYODO NEWS

Bulgarian Kotooshu wrangled Tamanoshima to the dirt yesterday to maintain his undefeated lead in the Autumn Grand Sumo, while defending champion Asashoryu overpowered Kotomitsuki to stay one win behind.

Tamanoshima jumped to a quick start, pushing sekiwake Kotooshu to the straw ridge. But Kotooshu countered with a one-handed arm wrap and twisted his opponent out of the ring. Kotooshu improved his perfect record to 10-0, while No. 8 maegashira Tamanoshima fell to 6-4.

Kotooshu is eyeing his first championship after finishing second in the summer tourney with a loss to Asashoryu in a climactic final bout. Asashoryu is now gunning for his sixth straight Emperor's Cup and 14th overall.

In yesterday's closing contest, the Mongolian grand champion jumped on the offensive against Kotomitsuki, who was unable to mount any challenge against the yokozuna's powerful arm thrusts. Asashoryu advanced to 9-1, while his komusubi opponent dropped to 6-4. Kisenosato, a lowly No. 16 maegashira, also stayed one off the pace at 9-1 after grabbing the belt of Mongolian grappler Ama and quickly bulldozing him out of the ring. Ama dropped to 6-4.

Ozeki Tochiazuma made fast work of Kyokutenho to improve to 8-2. Kyokutenho racked up his fourth loss against six wins.

Fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai, 7-3, also came out on top, pulling rival Dejima to the dirt with a slap to the neck. Dejima fell to 3-7.

In top-ranked maegashira action, Georgia-born Kokkai fought through a barrage of arm thrusts to push out Miyabiyama. Kokkai improved to 2-8, while his No. 1 maegashira opponent fell to 3-7.

Mongolian Hakuho gave komusubi Futeno a hefty belt throw to scored his seventh win against three losses. Futeno fell to 2-8.

In other bouts further down the ranks, Russian-born Hakurozan jumped off the blocks in a false start against Shimotori, but quickly spun him around on the restart and pushed him out with a series of arm thrusts to the chest. The No. 12 maegashira Hakurozan improved to 5-5.

Russian compatriot Roho also bettered his record to 6-4 after pushing Kasugao to the edge and dodging a counterattack to throw the lower-ranked South Korean maegashira off balance. Kasugao fell to 6-4.

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