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Thursday, May 11, 2000

Takanohana keeps slate clean

Takanohana cruised to his fourth straight victory Wednesday, while fellow yokozuna Akebono rebounded from Tuesday's setback with a hard-fought win over Tochinonada on the fourth day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Takanohana had little trouble with Hamanoshima (0-4) after getting a right arm lock on the No. 2 maegashira shortly after the faceoff and quickly sent his opponent tumbling to the dirt surface to remain unbeaten along with six other wrestlers.

Fighting in the day's penultimate bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, Akebono had his hands full with No. 1 maegashira Tochinonada, who battled back from the brink of defeat several times before finally being bellied out by the lumbering Hawaiian.

Akebono improved to 3-1, while Tochinonada suffered his third loss of the 15-day meet.

In other bouts, ozeki Dejima, doing his best impersonation of a human cannon ball, crashed into top maegashira Asanowaka (1-3) and sent him into the first row of seats to improve to 2-2.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai (3-1) prevailed in a slap-fest with Tosanoumi, cuffing the komusubi in the side of the head before throwing him down to his third loss.

Takanonami, who has to post eight wins to avoid demotion from ozeki after a losing record at the spring tourney in Osaka, improved to 4-0 after he got a double arm lock on Daizen and then waltzed the winless No. 3 maegashira out over the straw ridge.

Gunning for ozeki promotion, Miyabiyama (3-1) suffered his first loss of the tourney at the hands of unbeaten komusubi Kaio, who got the upper hand shortly after the charge and then sent the stunned sekiwake packing with a shove from behind.

Komusubi Takatoriki, the surprise winner in the Spring tourney, posted an easy victory over Oginishiki (2-2) after pulling the No. 3 maegashira down to boost his record to 2-2.

Earlier, the top makuuchi division's two Mongolians, No. 4 maegashira Kyokushuzan (0-4) and sixth-ranked Kyokutenho (2-2), both suffered one-sided losses.

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