Asashoryu picks up pace

The Associated Press

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu defeated compatriot Hakuho on Wednesday to remain one win behind Kotooshu and Aminishiki at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photoBulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu slams down No. 2 maegashira Kakizoe to stay undefeated on the
fourth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu forced top maegashira Hakuho to the edge of the ring in the final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan and used a textbook arm throw to send his opponent down while improving to 3-1. Hakuho dropped to 1-3 in the 15-day tournament.

In other major bouts, newly promoted sekiwake Kotooshu of Bulgaria was forced back at the face off but sidestepped Kakizoe at the last minute and swatted the second-ranked maegashira out to remain undefeated and tied for the lead.

Kakizoe, who looked strong out of the blocks, slipped to 1-3.

Earlier, fifth-ranked maegashira Aminishiki stayed tied for the lead when he got both arms around No. 4 maegashira Kyokushuzan and waltzed the Mongolian out to improve to 4-0. Kyokushuzan dropped to 2-2.

Chiyotaikai, who needs a winning record in this tournament to maintain his ozeki status for the Kyushu meet, posted his second straight win and improved to 2-2 in a hard-fought bout with Kokkai.

After exchanging a series of arm thrusts with the No. 2 maegashira, Chiyotaikai, who has said he will retire if he doesn’t stay at sumo’s second-highest rank, stepped to one side and watched as Kokkai went tumbling out of the ring and to his fourth straight loss.

Sekiwake Wakanosato relinquished his share of the lead and dropped to 3-1 when he was thrown down at the edge of the ring by Mongolian Kyokutenho, a third-ranked maegashira who improved to 3-1.

Ozeki Tochiazuma fought off a series of slaps to the head and thrust Miyabiyama out to pick up his third win against one loss. Top-ranked maegashira Miyabiyama fell to 1-3.

Ozeki Kaio, who was forced to pull out of the tournament after three straight losses, defaulted to komusubi Kotomitsuki, who picked up his third win.

Kaio quit the tourney with strained hamstring muscles and is rumored to be contemplating retirement.