• The Associated Press

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Grand champion Asashoryu brushed aside Kotomitsuki on Sunday to open up a two-win lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Fighting in the finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu improved to a perfect 8-0 when he used an impressive arm throw to send the larger komusubi sprawling to the dirt surface. Kotomitsuki, who defeated Kaio on Saturday, dropped to 3-5 in the 15-day tourney.

In other major bouts, Mongolian Hakuho did compatriot Asashoryu a favor when he swatted down Tochiazuma to hand the sekiwake his second loss against six wins.

Komusubi Hakuho, who has looked impressive in this tournament, stayed in the hunt and improved to 6-2.

Sekiwake Wakanosato, who had hoped to nail down promotion to ozeki in this tournament, dropped to an unimpressive 3-5 when he was forced out by No. 2 maegashira Tosanoumi, who improved to 4-4.

News photoAsashoryu flips down komuzubi Kotomitsuki on the eighth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Chiyotaikai, who needs a winning record in this tournament to maintain his ozeki status, forced Kokkai (2-6) back with a series of arm thrusts and then lifted the struggling No. 3 maegashira out to improve to 5-3.

Sekiwake Miyabiyama got both arms around Roho (4-4) and waltzed the Russian grappler out to improve to 6-2.

Ozeki Kaio also improved to 4-4 when he hauled down top maegashira Tochinonada, who was handed his sixth loss against a pair of wins.

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