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Grand champion Asashoryu tossed aside Kakizoe on Friday to maintain sole possession of the lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

After a crushing blow at the faceoff in the day’s final bout, Asashoryu forced Kakizoe to the edge and lifted him almost a meter off the ground before depositing the No. 4 maegashira outside the ring at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who won five of six tournaments last year, improved to a perfect 6-0 while Kakizoe dropped to an unflattering 1-5.

Asashoryu holds a one-win lead over three others, including Mongolian compatriots Hakuho and Kyokutenho.

In other major bouts, rising star Hakuho barely broke a sweat when he used an arm throw to send hapless komusubi Kotomitsuki sprawling.

Komusubi Hakuho, who has now won five in a row after losing to Asashoryu on the opening day, stands one win off the pace at 5-1 while Kotomitsuki slumped to 2-3.

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