Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu never even flinched as he left another hapless victim in his wake to maintain a spotless record at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
The pugnacious yokozuna marched out rank-and-filer Kotoryu in a business-as-usual final bout to stay at 7-0 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, while ozeki Kaio and rank-and-filer Kakizoe stayed within touching distance one off the pace at the 15-day meet.
Asashoryu, who is seeking his fourth Emperor’s Cup and only his second as grand champion, wrapped up the third-ranked maegashira immediately after the face-off with an overpowering frontal assault.
Kotoryu, who slipped to his fourth loss, rammed the yokozuna with a hard body blow, but soon found himself being heaved backward and out of the ring by the obviously stronger Asashoryu.
The 22-year-old yokozuna appears unstoppable this time out and is hoping to get back on track by claiming the autumn title, after he was heavily criticized for unruly dohyo behavior at the Nagoya meet in July.
In other major bouts, ozeki Kaio (6-1) retreated out of the crouch against Miyabiyama (3-4) with a timid sidestep but quickly composed himself to apply a deft underarm throw on the sekiwake for a convincing victory.
Ozeki Chiyotakai (5-2) snapped his two-day skid, quickly dispensing of third-ranked maegashira Tokitsuumi (2-5) in a whirlwind of slaps and thrusts.
Tochiazuma (5-2) kept low and avoided all danger as he charged forward to knock out top maegashira Tochinonada (3-4) in the penultimate bout to give the ozeki camp its third win of the day.
The Tamanoi stable wrestler must post eight wins this time out to keep his ozeki status.
In an earlier bout, Tamanoshima (5-2), a seventh-ranked maegashira, slipped to his second loss in a row after backpedaling over the edge without a fight against a persistent Yotsukasa (5-2).
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