Asashoryu leads 12-pack at 3-0

Kyodo News

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu overpowered Kisenosato while ozeki compatriot Hakuho gave Tamanoshima a sumo clinic, maintaining their unbeaten records on the third day of action at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

News photo

In the day’s final bout at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu appeared to vent all his anger out on the No. 3 maegashira, who went through the paces in the pre-bout ritual marking his own time without respect to the yokozuna.

When the match began, Asashoryu made Kisenosato pay with a body-slam to send him off-balance before blasting his opponent over the ridge with a flurry of hard slaps.

Asashoryu is seeking his first championship title in two meets and is in “Terminator” mode after losing to Hakuho in a playoff in March, while the ozeki hopes to gain promotion to sumo’s ultimate rank with a third overall title victory.

Hakuho, meanwhile, was slightly off his timing, standing up once before the faceoff, but regained control during the match before deploying a powerful arm-lock maneuver to toss the No. 2 maegashira to the dirt. Tamanoshima fell to 0-3.

There were no surprises with all of the ozeki wrestlers winning their bouts to remain perfect, leaving 12 rikishi tied for the lead in the early going at 3-0.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu got both hands wrapped around Tochiozan (1-2), swiftly moving in to heave the No. 4 maegashira over the straw bales to stay perfect.

Demotion-threatened ozeki Chiyotaikai (3-0) steamrolled over winless Kotoshogiku, sending the komusubi flailing over the ridge in a matter of seconds to move a step closer to the eight wins necessary to maintain his rank.