Asashoryu improves mark to 7-0

Kyodo

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu blasted away Kokkai to rack up his seventh straight win and remain in the lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

Kokkai, a No. 2 maegashira from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, tried his best to deflect the yokozuna’s thundering charge but was left with a hair-full of salt at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

The Mongolian brawler has won 72 bouts this year and is well on the way to capturing his fifth Emperor’s Cup since January.

Ozeki Kaio, meanwhile, won his sixth bout to stay one off the pace with four other wrestlers including sekiwake Wakanosato and rising stars Hakuho and Roho.

In the day’s final bout, Asashoryu charged full throttle as Kokkai (2-5) flailed his arms in vain before he was tossed over the ridge with his head landing in the ceremonial salt used in the pre-bout rituals.

Kaio overpowered Kyokushuzan with a strong frontal belt grip before marching out the No. 4 maegashira in convincing fashion in the penultimate bout. Mongolian Kyokushuzan fell to 1-6.