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Thursday, May 18, 2000

DAY 11

Kaio keeps up with big boys

Komusubi Kaio slapped a second loss on makuuchi division-newcomer Tochinohana on Wednesday to remain even with grand champions Akebono and Takanohana in the chase for the Emperor's Cup at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

The win was Kaio's 10th against one loss at Ryogoku Kokugikan while Tochinohana, winner of the second-tier juryo division championship in March, fell a step behind the tournament leaders at 9-2 with ozeki Chiyotaikai.

In Wednesday's featured bout between tournament co-leaders, Kaio wrapped up Tochinohana's left arm at the faceoff and, working against his opponent's elbow, forced the No. 12 maegashira to the ring's surface for his 10th win.

Akebono and Takanohana, meanwhile, posted easy wins as they remained on course for a possible championship showdown Sunday.

Takanohana escaped from a potential elbow-breaker by Mongolian trickster Kyokushuzan (2-9) and then tripped up the No. 4 maegashira.

Akebono appeared to over-extend himself as he drove against Kotoryu (6-5) in the day's final bout, but kept the fifth-ranked maegashira in front of him as he bellied him out of the ring.

Chiyotaikai, in title contention for the first time since earning ozeki promotion in January 1999, shoved out No. 3 maegashira Oginishiki (5-6) with a rapid-fire thrusting attack for his ninth win.

In other bouts, Miyabiyama overpowered Asanowaka (2-9) and marched the top maegashira out for his eighth win while fellow-sekiwake Tochiazuma crossed up Takatoriki at the faceoff and slapped the bewildered komusubi down for win No. 8.

In a meeting of 6-4 ozeki, Dejima got underneath the taller Takanonami with a quick charge and then avoided a desperation headlock at the edge of the ring to notch his seventh win.

Takanonami, still needing two more wins to avoid demotion from ozeki for the Nagoya tourney in July, slumped to his fourth loss in the last five days to find himself at a precarious 6-5.

In an early bout, Mongolia's No. 6 maegashira Kyokutenho was pulled down by 13th-ranked Aogiyama (6-5), leaving him one loss shy of certain demotion for July.

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