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Asa moves into first-place tie

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu overpowered Kisenosato on Sunday to move into a three-way tie for the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo tournament.

News photoYokozuna Asashoryu pushes komusubi Kisenosato out of the ring on Sunday, the eighth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
KYODO PHOTO

In the day’s final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu fought off an arm throw at the edge of the ring and finished off komusubi Kisenosato with an emphatic shove to improve to 7-1 in the 15-day tourney. Kisenosato fell to 3-5.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for his 20th Emperor’s Cup, is tied for the lead with rank-and-filers Tamakasuga and Tamanoshima.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai stayed in the hunt for the title when he used his trademark arm thrusts to dispatch Kotoshogiku to improve to 6-2. Top maegashira Kotoshogiku was handed his third loss against five wins.

Mongolian Hakuho got a left-hand grip on the belt of fellow ozeki Kaio and waltzed the veteran grappler out to give both wrestlers a 5-3 record.

Ozeki Tochiazuma was upset when he was hauled down by Aminishiki at the center of the ring.

No. 2 maegashira Aminishiki improved to 2-7 while Tochiazuma dropped to 4-4.

Fourth-ranked maegashira Ama of Mongolia took the easy way out when he dodged to his side at the faceoff and swatted down ozeki Kotooshu to improve to 5-3. Bulgarian Kotooshu also stands at 5-3.

In an earlier bout, 11th-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga was forced out by Takekaze to fall to 7-1. No. 8 Takekaze stands at 3-5.