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Sunday, July 23, 2000

DAY 14

Chiyotaikai hands Akebono first loss

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Akebono fell to his first defeat of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at the hands of Chiyotaikai on Saturday while Kaio took a big step toward promotion to ozeki with an upset victory over grand champion Musashimaru.

A mere 24 hours after Akebono had assured himself of the championship, Chiyotaikai pulled the yokozuna down at center ring of Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium for his 11th win of the meet and denied the Hawaiian giant a chance for his first 15-0 perfect record.

Both wrestlers went for the kill right away in a match that turned into a free-for-all as Akebono chased the rapidly retreating ozeki around the ring.

Chiyotaikai, wrestling for pride rather than the hardware, timed one of Akebono's lunges just right, stepping to the right and slapping down his 230-kilogram opponent to the ring's surface.

In other key bouts, sekiwake Kaio took a big step toward promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ozeki, tripping up grand champion Musashimaru (9-5) for his 10th win of the tourney and his second yokozuna scalp.

Kaio, who won the summer tourney in May with a 14-1 record, has also defeated three ozeki in Nagoya to strengthen his chances of being promoted to the rank for September.

Sekiwake Tochiazuma also notched his 11th win against Takatoriki (8-6) by pulling out a last-ditch throw at the edge to defeat the pesky eighth-ranked maegashira.

Ozeki Dejima posted win No. 10 as he ousted Mongolia's seventh-ranked maegashira Kyokutenho (9-5) while Musashigawa stablemate Musoyama (4-10) twisted down fifth-ranked maegashira Hayateumi (7-7).

Newly promoted ozeki Miyabiyama (5-9) fell to sekiwake Takanonami (6-8), who beat him with an underarm throw.

American No. 13 maegashira Sentoryu (8-6), making his makuuchi division debut, secured promotion by forcing out 11th-ranked Tokitsuumi.

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