Asashoryu caught in three-way tie for lead in Tokyo

AP , TOKYO

Thu, Sep 23, 2004 - Page 20

Grand champion Asashoryu remained tied for the lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament yesterday after a gritty win over sixth-ranked maegashira Kakizoe.

Mongolian Asashoryu exchanged a series of slaps to the head with Kakizoe in the finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan before swatting his opponent down to improve to 9-2. Kakizoe fell to 6-5.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his fifth straight Emperor's Cup, is tied for the lead along with Dejima and ozeki Kaio, who both posted wins earlier.

Fifth-ranked maegashira Dejima kept up his impressive run in the 15-day tourney when he traded arm thrusts with Chiyotaikai before shoving the ozeki wrestler out to improve to 9-2.

Chiyotaikai, who has struggled in this tournament, dropped to an unimpressive 6-5 and will now be content just for a winning record.

Ozeki Kaio remained in contention when he got a hand on the neck of Miyabiyama and shoved the sekiwake out after being pushed back at the faceoff.

Kaio picked up his ninth win against a pair of losses while handing Miyabiyama his sixth loss.

Sekiwake Wakanosato stayed in the hunt when he grabbed hold of Kokkai and flung the top maegashira down to pick up his eighth win against three losses.

Top maegashira Kokkai was handed his third loss in the last four days and fell to 5-6.

Mongolian Kyokushuzan, who led the tournament for much of the first week, was handed his third straight loss and fell to 8-3.