Grand champion Asashoryu manhandled maegashira-ranked Kotomitsuki for his 10th straight win Tuesday, staying undefeated at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. Ozeki Chiyotaikai remained in the hunt with his ninth victory.
Asashoryu overpowered Kotomitsuki on the 10th day of the tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, lifting the No. 4 maegashira wrestler off his feet and onto his back. With the win, the grand champion retains the sole lead.
Kotomitsuki’s second loss put him further behind Asashoryu. Two other wrestlers, ozeki Kaio and maegashira-ranked Kakizoe, were also at 8-2 after the day’s bouts.
Chiyotaikai, meanwhile, became the only wrestler to protect his one-loss record after easily dispatching No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan (4-6) with his trademark flurry of arm thrusts.
Ozeki Tochiazuma suffered another upset, dashing his hopes of winning promotion to sumo’s highest rank of grand champion. The ozeki, who won November’s Kyushu tournament, had needed at least 13 wins this tournament to be promoted to yokozuna.
But with a record of 7-3 and only five matches left, the best he can do is 12 wins.
Tochiazuma grappled with No. 3 maegashira Kyokutenho for several minutes until Mongolian-born Kyokutenho lifted Tochiazuma off his feet and tossed him into the crowd. Kyokutenho improved to 4-6.
No. 5 maegashira Kakizoe lost to No. 8 maegashira Aminishiki. Kakizoe had chased Aminishiki to the edge but sprawled to the dirt when he lunged and missed Aminishiki, who had sidestepped his charge. Aminishiki was 7-3.
Ozeki Kaio used an arm toss to send komusubi Tochinonada onto his back. Tochinonada fell to 3-7.
In other matches, Kokkai, a 22-year-old Georgia-born wrestler, beat No. 15 maegashira Kitazakura to go 7-4. Kitazakura fell to 2-9.
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