Wed, Jul 12, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Asashoryu thunders to 3-0 record

AP , NAGOYA, JAPAN

Grand champion Asashoryu, right, defeats Kakizoe on the third day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya, central Japan, yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Grand champion Asashoryu rallied to a 3-0 record yesterday by easily dispatching lower-ranked Kakizoe on the third day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. Two ozekis -- Kotooshu and Kaio -- were upset.

In the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Asashoryu of Mongolia quickly took a left-hang grip of Kakizoe before driving the No. 3 maegashira off the raised straw ridge.

Asashoryu improved to 3-0 while Kakizoe fell to 1-2.

Asashoryu, the sole grand champion or yokozuna currently competing in sumo, sat out the summer tourney in May after injuring his elbow on the second day.

The Mongolian is the favorite to take home the Emperor's Cup.

Russian Roho was offensive at the faceoff, shoving ozeki Kaio with arm thrusts out of the ring. Both wrestlers stand at 2-1.

In other major bouts, Kisenosato came bursting out of the blocks and knocked Kotooshu with a series of slaps in the throat to send the Bulgarian ozeki out. Both grapplers stand at 1-2.

Tochiazuma kept pace at 3-0 after quickly taking a left-hand grip of sekiwake Kotomitsuki, and forced him out for his second defeat against one win.

Tochiazuma needs a winning record in this tourney to maintain his ozeki status.

Ozeki Hakuho picked up his second straight win against one loss after dispatching No. 2 maegashira Hakurozan, handing the Russian grappler his second loss against one win.

Hakuho, who took home the Emperor's Cup in the previous tournament in May, is gunning for promotion to grand champion in this tourney.

The Mongolian wrestler will need at least 13 wins to be considered for promotion to sumo's top rank.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai improved to 3-0 after deploying his trademark arm thrusts to the chest of Mongolian Kyokushuzan at the face-off to send the top maegashira out. Kyokushuzan fell to 0-3.

Earlier in the day, komusubi Asasekiryu withdrew from the 15-day meet after injuring his left big toe in Monday's bout with Kaio. Sekiwake Miyabiyama won by default.

Elsewhere, No. 4 maegashira Baruto of Estonia took a two-handed grip of Kyokutenho of Mongolia and easily drove the No. 2 maegashira out to improve to 3-0.

Kyokutenho remained winless.

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