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Monday, March 20, 2000

Takatoriki runs Osaka mark to 8-0 while Takanohana falls to 2nd loss

Yokozuna Takanohana sleepwalked into his second loss of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday, but his Futagoyama stablemate Takatoriki boosted his record to a perfect 8-0 with another quick-fire win.

Meanwhile, Musashimaru, Musoyama and Miyabiyama -- top names from the rival Musashigawa stable -- all posted easy wins to hang in the slipstream at 7-1 in the 15-day meet at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Komusubi Kaio burst from his slump to catch Takanohana napping in the day's final bout, keeping the grand champion away from his belt and finishing the job with a sharp jolt to the chest to notch just his third win of the tourney.

Yokozuna Musashimaru quickly swatted No. 5 maegashira Chiyotenzan (4-4) out of the ring, while sekiwake Musoyama continued his march toward ozeki promotion by flinging down Takanonami, who looked anything but ozeki material in dropping to 3-5.

Newly promoted sekiwake Miyabiyama, runnerup behind Musoyama at the New Year tourney in January, easily chased out No. 3 maegashira Kotoryu (3-5) for his seventh win, a mark also reached earlier in the day by mid-maegashira Asanowaka.

Veteran No. 14 maegashira Takatoriki left sixth-ranked Tochinonada (5-3) seeing stars after a brutal slapping attack and left the packed arena as the top makuuchi division's only unbeaten wrestler.

Yokozuna Akebono pulled out his sixth win against second-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga (2-6), despite continuing signs that his legs can no longer provide sufficient balance for his 230-kg bulk.

Mongolian No. 2 maegashira Kyokutenho upset Chiyotaikai (4-4) to chalk up his third win, but Dejima salvaged some ozeki pride by running out fourth-ranked Takanowaka (2-6) to up his record to 5-3.

In other bouts, No. 12 maegashira Daizen upped his record to 4-4 with a well-earned victory over No. 11 maegashira Oikari.

In a battle of No. 9 maegashira, Oginishiki (4-4) handed Hamanoshima his third defeat of the spring tournament against five victories.

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The Japan Times

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