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Saturday, Sept. 16, 2000

DAY 13

Maru one win away

Yokozuna Musashimaru slapped down ozeki Chiyotaikai on Friday for a 13th straight win at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament to leave himself just one win away from his first championship of the year.

Musashimaru opened up a two-win advantage after ozeki Dejima did his Musashigawa-beya stablemate a favor by saddling grand champion Akebono with a second loss only two days from end of the 15-day event at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

In Friday's penultimate bout, Chiyotaikai (9-4) looked in a determined mood as the ozeki charged out of his crouch, forcing Musashimaru to retreat to the edge of the ring. But just as the Samoan-born Musashimaru was preparing to launch his own attack, Chiyotaikai slipped and his right knee gave way to hand the defending champion the win.

Yokozuna Akebono saw his chance to snag back-to-back titles take a big hit with a second loss at 11-2 after Dejima (10-3) took the full force of his initial charge before cleverly dodging to the left and sending the Hawaiian-born giant sprawling to the dirt.

Kaio (10-3) notched an impressive 10th win over Wakanoyama (7-6) as the newly promoted ozeki twisted the sixth-ranked maegashira to the right before slamming him onto the dirt.

Tochinohana (8-5) posted a winning record with an upset victory over ozeki Miyabiyama (7-6) as the No. 7 maegashira charged into the his left side before flipping him over with a twisting backward knee trip.

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