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Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000

DAY 6

Musashimaru takes sole lead

Musoyama slapped down Chiyotaikai to hand the ozeki his first loss Friday while leaving yokozuna and Musashigawa stablemate Musashimaru the lone undefeated leader at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Grand champion Akebono posted an easy win as did the three other ozeki -- all at five wins against one loss now -- to remain in the hunt for the Emperor's Cup at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Sekiwake Musoyama, also 5-1 and out to prove that he is worthy of the ozeki rank he is attempting to regain, edged Chiyotaikai just when it looked like the ozeki had done enough to post his sixth straight win. Chiyotaikai got in some juicy shots in the slapfest that followed the face-off at center ring, driving Musoyama to the straw bales.

The sekiwake, momentarily pulled off balance, twisted skillfully to regain balance before sending the Kokonoe stable ozeki sprawling to the ring's surface.

Defending champion Musashimaru, meanwhile, quickly showed No. 6 maegashira Kotoryu (1-5) the wrong side of the raised ring, barging him out with ease to register his sixth straight win.

Akebono, trying to win consecutive tournaments for the first time since 1997, grabbed maegashira top gun Kotoryu (1-5) by the throat at the tachi-ai and bulldozed him out of the ring for a fifth win.

Ozeki Dejima (5-1) wasted little time in forcing out top-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi (1-5) while fellow ozeki Miyabiyama also picked up win No. 5, carting out No. 2 maegashira Chiyotenzan (2-4) to complete a day of triumphs for the Musashigawa stable. Newly promoted ozeki Kaio (5-1) also remains in contention for the title, making short work of Mongolia's No. 3 maegashira Kyokutenho, who fell to his sixth loss.

America's 12th-ranked maegashira Sentoryu (2-4), or Henry Armstrong Miller, looking determined to shrug off a shaky start to the tourney, burst out of his crouch before forcing out No. 13 maegashira Kinkaiyama (3-3) for a second win.

Meanwhile, sekiwake Tochiazuma, an ozeki hopeful from the Tamanoi stable, withdrew from the tournament on Friday due to an injury to his right shoulder, sumo officials said.



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