Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Asashoryu deploys mighty arm thrusts to beat compatriot

AP , NAGOYA, JAPAN

Ozeki Tochiazuma, right, grabs the belt of Kotoshoogiku before forcing him out of the ring yesterday, the fifth day of the 15-day Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya, Japan

PHOTO: AP

Grand champion Asashoryu defeated his Mongolian compatriot Kyokushuzan yesterday and remained tied for the lead on the fifth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's final bout at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Asashoryu posted his fifth win after deploying a powerful arm thrusts to easily send the top maegashira out of the ring. Kyokushuzan remained winless.

Asashoryu, the only grand champion competing in sumo, was forced to sit out the summer tournament after injuring his elbow on the second day.

Ozeki wrestler Tochiazuma and rank-and-filer Tochinohana also stand at 5-0.

Tochiazuma quickly got a left-hand grip on the belt of Kotoshoogiku before forcing him out to improve to 5-0. Top maegashira Kotoshoogiku dropped to 0-5.

In other major bouts, ozeki Hakuho picked up his fourth win against one loss when he posted a hard-fought win over sekiwake Kotomitsuki.

Hakuho, who lost on the opening day, was initially pushed back at the faceoff, but got a hand on the belt of Kotomitsuki and drove him out for his third loss against two wins.

The 21-year-old Hakuho, who won the Emperor's Cup in the May tourney, is gunning for promotion to grand champion.

Kakizoe upset ozeki Chiyotaikai. After absorbing a series of arm thrusts and deftly moving backward, No. 3 maegashira Kakizoe watched Chiyotaikai's poor footwork to send him sprawling. Kakizoe improved to 2-3 while Chiyotaikai fell to 4-1.

Ozeki Kaio chalked up his fourth win against one loss when he deployed a series of thrusts to the upper body of Hakurozan, spinning the No. 2 maegashira and ushering him out from behind. Hakurozan fell to 2-3.

Struggling ozeki Kotooshu got both hands on the belt of Kyokutenho before forcing the Mongolian grappler out. Bulgarian Kotooshu improved to 3-2 while No. 2 maegashira Kyokutenho of Mongolia remained winless.

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