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Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Musashigawa pair remain unbeaten

The Musashigawa stable's pair of sekiwake wrestlers Musoyama and Miyabiyama posted convincing wins Tuesday to remain among the unbeaten leaders in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Dejima also won at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium to keep pace with his junior stablemates, while Akebono dodged a bullet to remain the lone unbeaten grand champion only three days into the 15-day basho.

Musoyama, the winner of the New Year tourney in January, pinned Tosanoumi (2-1) up against the straw ridge and then twisted the komusubi down to the ring's surface for his third straight win.

Miyabiyama, making his debut at sumo's third-highest rank of sekiwake, overwhelmed Chiyotaikai (2-1) at the face-off and then backed the ozeki out of the ring against little resistance.

Dejima, not to be outdone by his lower-ranked stablemates, backed Kaio (1-2) to the edge of the ring on a straight line off the face-off and then pulled the komusubi down to give the Musashigawa stable three wins in three straight bouts.

Akebono, meanwhile, had difficulty catching sekiwake Tochiazuma, who circled away from the grand champion's thrusting attack.

When the two wrestlers finally locked up, Tochiazuma (1-2) attempted a belt throw, but hit the ring's surface first as they fell together. A meeting of ringside judges confirmed the win for Akebono.

Earlier, Takatoriki, at the makuuchi division's lowest rank of No. 14 maegashira, shoved out juryo-division wrestler Mitoizumi (1-2) for his third win, and seventh-ranked Toki pulled down Akinoshima (1-2) for a place among the third-day leaders.

In other main bouts, yokozuna Takanohana (2-1) marched out No. 2 maegashira Kyokutenho to leave the Mongolian wrestler winless after going 11-4 in January.

Kyokushuzan (1-2), however, ended the Mongolian losing streak in the tourney at five by pulling himself around Wakanohana (1-2) and then taking advantage of the angle to muscle the grand champion out of the ring from the side.

Yokozuna Musashimaru (2-1) again appeared to favor his injured left wrist, but still managed to barrel winless No. 2 maegashira Tamakasuga out of the ring with some solid shoulder blocks.

Takanonami (2-1) cranked Wakanoyama (0-3) out of the ring with firm control of the top maegashira's sash, rebounding from Monday's loss to Tosanoumi.

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