Bulgarian Kotooshu upsets Asashoryu

The Associated Press

Bulgarian Kotooshu upset grand champion Asashoryu Sunday to end the Mongolian yokozuna’s winning streak and topple him from his position as sole front runner at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photoKomusubi Kotooshu (right) falls to the dohyo with yokozuna Asashoryu before
being credited with the win at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in Aichi Prefecture.

Komusubi Kotooshu rallied from a powerful blow to the face at the start, which had sent him reeling backward. Recovering his balance, the two wrestlers locked intensely in the center of the ring before Kotooshu threw Asashoryu over his right shoulder and sent him head first into the dirt to roaring cheers from the crowd.

It was the first defeat for Asashoryu, who has won 13 cups, after 24 straight victories.

The Mongolian wrestler is now tied at the top of the tournament’s standings with Wakanosato with seven wins and one loss. Kotooshu is 6-2.

“I’m happy,” Kotooshu told reporters after the upset, saying he had just thought to do his best before facing off against his powerful opponent.

Earlier, Wakanosato, second-ranked maegashira, had prevailed over Kokkai (6-2), sending the Georgia-born wrestler out of the ring with a series of powerful shoves.

No. 8 maegashira Iwakiyama, who had enjoyed a series of wins earlier in the tournament, suffered his second loss in two days, when he fell to crowd favorite, Takamisakari. Both wrestlers are 6-2.

In other major bouts, Russian Roho quickly dispatched ozeki Chiyotaikai with some quick, hard shoves that sent the other wrestler stumbling backward over the rope. Both ended 3-5.

Ozeki Kaio (6-2) beat Tosanoumi who remained winless at 0-8.

Iwakiyama out

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Eighth-ranked maegashira Iwakiyama withdrew from the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday due to a shoulder injury sustained in a bout on Friday.

Iwakiyama was joint leader at 6-0 at the 15-day meet when he hurt his left shoulder in a victory over Mongolian Asasekiryu. He battled through the pain barrier but suffered his first defeat against Kotoshogiku on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Iwakiyama will need a week to recover from the injury.

Iwakiyama, whose withdrawal is his first since the 2003 spring tournament, loses his scheduled eighth-day bout against colorful maegashira Takamisakari by default and leaves the tournament with a 6-2 record.