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Friday, May 19, 2000

DAY 12

Yokozuna, Kaio move to 11-1 with victories

Yokozuna pair Takanohana and Akebono watched Kaio pull out another win Thursday, then matched the resurgent komusubi by upping their own records to the same 11-1 mark to tie for the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Continuing the pattern of the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, Takanohana again looked the most impressive as he all but extinguished Miyabiyama's chances of ozeki promotion, taking the young sekiwake to school in the day's final bout.

After an initial clash of heads, Takanohana, who is chasing his 21st Emperor's Cup, quickly secured a strong right-hand belt grip and backed Miyabiyama to the straw before yanking him to the dirt for his fourth loss.

Akebono, meanwhile, used his 230-kg bulk to barge out Takanonami, who slipped to a precarious 6-6 record and must now win two of his last three bouts to avoid demotion from ozeki after a losing record at the spring tourney in March.

Earlier, Kaio chased out No. 3 maegashira Oginishiki (5-7) in a bout which was over as soon as it started to stay in the hunt for his first Emper or's Cup triumph.

No. 12 maegashira Tochinohana, making his debut in sumo's top makuuchi division, continued on his dramatic learning curve as he survived a blitz from ozeki Chiyotaikai (9-3) to boost his record to a remarkable 10-2.

In a match-up of komusubi, Tosanoumi bulldozed out Takatoriki to go to 7-5, while his veteran opponent, who could be forgiven for resting on his laurels after his surprise Emperor's Cup win in Osaka, left the ring with a disastrous 2-10 record.

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The Japan Times

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