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Perfect Asashoryu clinches
winning tournament record

Star-Bulletin wire services

FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) - Ozeki Asashoryu widened his lead over most of his rivals Sunday, rolling over lower-ranked Takamisakari on the eighth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in southern Japan.

Only dark horse Akinoshima was one loss behind Asashoryu. Six others, including ozekis Chiyotaikai and Musoyama and komusubi Taknowaka, were tied at 6-2.

Asashoryu, the only Mongolian ever to reach sumo's second-highest rank, overpowered Takamisakari with blows to the chest and face and a final decisive shove.

Injuries have left both yokozuna sidelined. Musashimaru pulled out Friday after his sprained wrist, an injury picked up during the September tournament, swelled. Takanohana, who has fought in only one of the past eight tournaments, is out again due to pain in his right knee.

No. 14 maegashira Akinoshima kept his miraculous winning streak going, lifting out Jumonji, who fell to 4-4. Akinoshima, a 35-year-old veteran, is eighth in the sport's all-time career wins standings.

In the final match at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, komusubi Takanowaka sent the crowd into a frenzy by upsetting ozeki Musoyama. Using an arm-lock, Takanowaka dragged an off-balance Musoyama toward the edge before pushing him out. Both wrestlers finished the day at 6-2.

Home crowd favorite Chiyotaikai and Tosanoumi were forced into a rematch, after the referee and five ringside judges couldn't agree on a winner. Slow-motion TV replays showed Chiyotaikai stepping off the straw edge at nearly the same moment an airborne Tosanoumi landed.

But Chiyotaikai dominated the rematch, yanking Tosanoumi to the ground.

Earlier, Aminishiki ducked Toki's slap attack, spinning around the taller wrestler and tossing him to the dirt. Aminishiki, a No. 8 maegashira, was 6-2.

Also at 6-2 after wins Sunday were No. 1 maegashira Takanonami and No. 5 Shimotori.

Ozeki Tochiazuma, whose loss of form has left him in danger of demotion, took only a few seconds to drive out No. 3 maegashira Tamakasuga. Tochiazuma's 4-4 record means he needs to win at least four of his remaining seven matches or faces certain demotion to sekiwake.

Mongolian Kyokushuzan lost to Tamanoshima to go 2-6. It was Tamanoshima's only win this tournament.

Fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho barely put up a fight against No. 1 maegashira Takanonami, backpedaling out of the ring after the faceoff. Kyokutenho, a komusubi, slid to 3-5, while Takanonami improved to 6-2.

Day 8

(+ indicates juryo-division wrestler):
Technique Lost

+Takanotsuru 7-1 hatakikomi Asanowaka 3-5

Aogiyama 3-5 tsukidashi +Komahikari 5-3

Akinoshima 7-1 yorikiri Jumonji 4-4

Buyuzan 3-5 yorikiri Tamarikido 4-4

Iwakiyama 5-3 kotenage Ushiomaru 3-5

Dejima 5-3 oshidashi Kaiho 4-4

Aminishiki 6-2 okuritaoshi Toki 5-3

Tokitsuumi 5-3 yorikiri Tochinohana 1-7

Kotonowaka 5-3 uwatenage Tochinonada 4-4

Wakanoyama 5-3 tsukiotoshi Kotoryu 3-5

Tamanoshima 1-7 tsukidashi Kyokushuzan 2-6

Shimotori 6-2 sukuinage Miyabiyama 3-5

Takanonami 6-2 yorikiri Kyokutenho 3-5

Wakanosato 3-5 oshidashi Gojoro 3-5

Kotomitsuki 4-4 okuridashi Hokutoriki 2-6

Asashoryu 8-0 tsukidashi Takamisakari 4-4

Chiyotaikai 6-2 hikiotoshi Tosanoumi 3-5

Tochiazuma 4-4 oshidashi Tamakasuga 0-8

Takanowaka 6-2 tsukidashi Musoyama 6-2

For more sumo information online, try:
Sumo Web
Da Kine Sumo E-zine
Grand Sumo Home Page
Kyodo News Service


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