• The Associated Press


Yokozuna Asashoryu looked overpowering and ozeki Tochiazuma kept his promotion hopes alive and on the third day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Eight wrestlers including three ozeki were tied for first with perfect 3-0 records after Tuesday’s action at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan arena.

Asashoryu blew by winless No. 1 maegashira Hokutoriki.

The Mongolian grand champion grabbed his opponent around the belt and pushed him over the ring’s edge for a typical blink-of-the-eye victory.

Tochiazuma, who won November’s Kyushu tournament, needs at least 13 wins in the 15-day tournament to secure promotion to yokozuna.

After securing a precious win Monday to even his record, the ozeki took the next step forward in his campaign with a force-out win over No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan.

His fellow ozeki all walked off winners on the afternoon.

Chiyotaikai dispatched No. 3 maegashira Takamisakari (1-2) with a series of arm thrusts to the throat, dealing another blow to pre-tournament rumors that he was not in his best condition.

Musoyama picked up his third straight win with a brawny display against komusubi Wakanosato (2-1). After trying to throw Wakanosato twice, Musoyama settled on driving his overpowered opponent out of the ring.

Kaio stayed in the race by bulldozing out hapless No. 2 maegashira Iwakiyama (0-3). The ozeki never looked back after getting one arm under his opponent’s shoulder and the other around his belt.

Sekiwake Tosanoumi finally got into the winning column (1-2) by dispatching top-ranked mageashira Toki (0-3).

No. 4 maegashira Kotomitsuki stayed perfect with an aggressive win over No. 7 maegashira Shimotori. Kotomitsuki blasted his opponent back with his opening charge, then shook off two long deadlocks to force Shimotori outside the rope.

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