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The Japan Sumo Association on Monday received a bomb threat and phone calls threatening an assault on Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu, association sources said.

Several calls were made to the association to the effect that somebody would assault the 22-year-old grand champion during the ongoing Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, they said.

Asashoryu performed the day’s customary ring-entering ceremony as a yokozuna amid extremely tight security at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, but many fans threw cushions at him. The yokozuna has been at the center of several controversies both in and out of the ring, especially with fellow Mongolian Kyukushuzan, a No. 2 maegashira grappler.

Some fans carried placards which read “Go back to Mongolia” and others shouted at him, but he did not appear to be bothered.

Asashoryu, who will sit out the tourney due to an elbow injury starting Tuesday after losing Monday to rank-and-file maegashira Tamanoshima to sag to 5-4, told reporters after the bout, “I don’t care. It’s up to the fans to decide who they like and don’t like.”

But he said later in the evening, “I want to take a rest for a while, which I need. If there’s an effective way (to cure the injury), I’ll get treatment.”

The fire-brand grand champion squared off with Kyokushuzan during a post-bout soak on Sunday, three days after being disqualified for breaking sumo taboo by tugging the hair of his compatriot in their tussle at Nagoya.

Another wrestler had to separate them to prevent the towel-clad Mongolians coming to blows following a heated exchange of words.

Asashoryu has often ignored the strict rules of etiquette that underpin sumo.

Earlier this year, he threw a tantrum after losing a decision to Kyokushuzan in Tokyo, bumping into his opponent, complaining bitterly to the judges and stomping off still shaking with rage.

News photoA cushion is thrown into the ring as yokozuna Asashoryu performs the dohyo-iri during the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

To make matters worse, Asashoryu, who has been summoned for talks with sumo officials at the end of the current tournament, could also face legal action after allegedly breaking the wing-mirror of a car used by Kyokushuzan following his defeat in midweek.

Musoyama marches on

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Ozeki Musoyama produced a no-nonsense win over veteran maegashira Takanonami on Tuesday as the leading pack of wrestlers narrowed down to three heading into the final third of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musoyama (8-2) stayed in the hunt for his first title since the 2000 New Year’s meet and second overall as he followed up a crunching attack with a low head-charge that sent Takanonami (3-7) backpedaling out of the ring in a one-sided bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Seventh-ranked maegashira Tokitsuumi outlasted 15th-ranked Kinkaiyama to keep his share of the lead while Tosanoumi didn’t even have to take his place on the raised ring to improve his record to 8-2.

No. 5 maegashira Tosanoumi won his scheduled bout with Asashoryu by default after the troubled yokozuna pulled out of the tournament with an elbow injury, leaving the 15-day meet without a grand champion.

Musashimaru, the only other wrestler who holds sumo’s ultimate rank of yokozuna, also pulled out of the tournament after aggravating a lingering injury to his left wrist.

Back in the ring, Tokitsuumi maintained his share of the lead as he became the first wrestler in the tournament to secure a winning record with a hard-fought victory over Kinkaiyama (6-4).

Ozeki Kaio (7-3), who has been struggling with lower back pain, got back on the winning track with a routine force-out win over fifth-ranked Kotoryu while Chiyotaikai shunted out fellow ozeki Tochiazuma for his seventh win.

Defending Nagoya champion Chiyotaikai faced stiff resistance from Tochiazuma (6-4) in the day’s final bout but after a brutal exchange of slaps and arm thrusts prevailed to stay in touch with the leading trio.

Kaio and Chiyotaikai are among a group of five makuuchi division wrestlers who have 7-3 records.

In an all-sekiwake match-up, Wakanosato (6-4) lifted Mongolian Kyokutenho kicking in the air over the straw bales to notch his fourth straight win. Kyokutenho slipped to 4-6.

Local favorite and one-time ozeki candidate Kotomitsuki and No. 12 maegashira Kasuganishiki were both handed their third defeats at the hands of Hokutoriki (7-3) and Asanowaka (4-6) respectively.

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