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Thursday, July 13, 2000

DAY 4

Akebono wins battle of unbeatens

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Akebono catapulted sekiwake Tochiazuma into the ringside cushions Wednesday in a battle of unbeaten wrestlers and walked away with a share of the lead at 4-0 with rank-and-filer Takamisakari at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

The day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium was over as soon as it started as the Hawaiian-born giant, chasing his first Emperor's Cup since May 1997, immediately backed up Tochiazuma with a forearm to the chest and finished the job with a two-handed shove.

Yokozuna Takanohana got back on track after losing to Tochiazuma on Tuesday, weathering an early storm from Toki (1-3) before twisting the No. 2 maegashira to the dirt for his third win of the 15-day tourney.

Musashimaru made it a hat trick of wins for the yokozuna trio as he blew out winless No. 2 maegashira Takanowaka to boost his record to 3-1, while Musashigawa stable mate Dejima had little trouble barging out sekiwake Takanonami (2-2), giving the ozeki win No. 3.

Miyabiyama, making his debut at ozeki, evened his record at 2-2 by pulling down top-ranked maegashira Tochinohana (0-4), but Musoyama, who needs eight wins to keep his ozeki rank after missing the summer meet with injury, slipped up against No. 1 maegashira Akinoshima.

The Futagoyama stable veteran secured a strong right-hand grip and levered Musoyama out to leave both wrestlers at 2-2.

Meanwhile, ozeki Chiyotaikai improved to 3-1 as he pummeled winless komusubi Tamakasuga to the floor in an impressive display of brute strength.

Sekiwake Kaio, shooting for the ozeki rank after winning his first Emperor's Cup two months ago, pinched a win and moved to 3-1 after komusubi Tosanoumi (1-3) had done all the hard work only to lose his footing at the edge of the ring.

It was a bad day for Mongolia as the mid-maegashira pair of Kyokutenho (3-1) and Kyokushuzan (0-4) were both outmaneuvered.

American No. 13 maegashira Sentoryu upped his record to 3-1 by shoving out winless Shikishima.



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