Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Asashoryu topples Tochiazuma to stay on top

AP , NAGOYA, JAPAN

Grand champion Asashoryu extended his winning streak yesterday after throwing out Tochiazuma to stay in sole lead at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu's fellow Mongolian, ozeki Hakuho, beat Kotooshu to keep his hopes alive for promotion to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna, and shared the second spot with three other wrestlers.

In the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in central Japan, Asashoryu grabbed Tochiazuma's belt while shoving him toward the ringside, then sent him out with a final push for a perfect 11-0 record. Tochiazuma sank to 8-3.

Hakuho fended off Kotooshu's strong charge and pushed out the Bulgarian who desperately resisted at the ringside. Kotooshu fell to 6-5.

Hakuho, who cannot afford any more losses in Nagoya to earn promotion, is now 9-2.

In the tournament championship hunt, one ozeki and two rank-and-filers managed to share the second spot at 9-2, despite suffering a defeat each yesterday.

Chiyotaikai landed on his stomach after failing to clash into Baruto's chest, as the Estonian skillfully sidestepped to avoid the ozeki's head-first charge. Baruto improved to 7-4. No. 10 maegashira Tamanoshima was shoved out by lower-ranked Tochinohana (7-4), and No. 12-maegashira Tamakasuga was tossed out by No. 6 maegashira Dejima (6-5).

In other major bouts, sekiwake Kotomitsuki grabbed ozeki Kaio's mawashi belt with his right hand and threw him out, leaving both at 7-4. Sekiwake Miyabiyama bulldozed out smaller Hakurozan to collect his sixth victory against five losses. The No. 2 maegashira from Russia fell to 2-9.

Georgian Kokkai, a No.5 maegashira, slammed down No. 11 maegashira Kasugao to improve to 8-3. Kasugao slipped to 4-7.

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