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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2000

Kotonishiki decides to retire

Former sekiwake Kotonishiki of the Sadogatake stable decided to hang up his mawashi on Sunday after struggling with a 1-6 record in the second-tier Juryo Division at the Autumn sumo tournament.

Kotonishiki, the only wrestler to win the Emperor's Cup twice as a maegashira wrestler, informed stablemaster Sadogatake of his decision Saturday evening.

The former sekiwake, who was wrestling as the top-ranked wrestler in the juryo division, told Sadogatake that he had reached his physical limits and it was time to retire from sumo.

While Kotonishiki is qualified to remain active in the Japan Sumo Association as an associate sumo elder, the winner of the 1991 Kyushu and 1998 spring tourneys plans to run a restaurant following his retirement.

Maru still perfect

Yokozuna Musashimaru sent out Tochinonada for a ninth straight win Monday and remained one step ahead of his nearest challengers at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Grand champion Akebono downed sekiwake Musoyama and Kaio took out fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai as both posted their eighth wins against one loss to remain the title hunt at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Musashimaru, in the hunt for his first championship of the year, got a scare after Tochinonada (2-7) came out strongly from the faceoff to send him stumbling toward the edge of the ring.

The autumn defending champion reacted quickly, however, regaining his balance, to yank the No. 3 maegashira down to maintain his unblemished record in the tourney. Akebono (8-1), meanwhile, muscled out sekiwake Musoyama (5-4), blocking the ozeki hopeful's attack at the faceoff before marching him over the bales in textbook fashion.

Newly-promoted ozeki Kaio (8-1) stood firm against Chiyotaikai (6-3), throwing him out after the Kokonoe stable ozeki had held the advantage with some powerful slaps.

Hayateumi (5-4) upended ozeki Dejima (7-2) in the shocker of the day as the second-ranked maegashira locked onto Dejima's left side with a powerful thrust before tipping him over the edge of the ring for the win.

"Kadoban" ozeki Miyabiyama (6-3), needing eight wins to hold onto his rank, grappled his way back from two straight losses by forcing out No. 4 maegashira Toki (5-4) for a big win.

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