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Tuesday, May 16, 2000


No change at top as yokozuna duo go to 8-1

Takanohana was in total control Monday as he boosted his record to 8-1, while Akebono kept pace with his rival yokozuna to retain a four-way share of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Takanohana, chasing his 21st Emperor's Cup, gave Tamakasuga little chance as he expertly shut down the offense of the No. 4 maegashira before muscling him out of the ring to his fifth loss in front of a full house at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hawaiian-born giant Akebono won few marks for artistic impression against Tosanoumi (5-4) but had little trouble shoving out the komusubi, who paid for his lack of lateral movement and finished in a heap five meters from the ring's surface.

Meanwhile, komusubi Kaio and rank-and-filer Tochinohana also won to join the grand champions at 8-1 for the 15-day meet.

Kaio, a one-time ozeki candidate, threw down No. 5 maegashira Kotoryu (6-3) in a scrappy bout, while Tochinohana -- making his debut in sumo's top makuuchi division as a No. 12 maegashira -- flattened 14th-ranked Jumonji (4-5) to secure a majority of wins.

Takanonami, who needs eight wins to avoid demotion from ozeki after a losing record in the spring tourney in March, bundled out top-ranked maegashira Asanowaka (2-7) to improve to 6-3, while ozeki Chiyotaikai outfoxed komusubi Takatoriki (2-7) for win No. 7.

The third ozeki, Dejima, slipped to 5-4, however, finding himself on the wrong end of a slap attack from sekiwake Tochiazuma, who left the ring with a 6-3 record.

Ozeki prospect Miyabiyama squashed top-ranked maegashira Tochinonada (3-6) for his sixth win, while Mongolian sumo fans celebrated a rare double as No. 4 maegashira Kyokushuzan (2-7) and sixth-ranked Kyokutenho (4-5) both won.

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