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Sunday, Nov. 12, 2000

DAY 7

Musashimaru saddled with first loss

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Musashimaru was thrown to his first loss by rank-and-filer Chiyotenzan on Saturday, while rival yokozuna Takanohana continued his charge and remained unbeaten at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Takanohana dug in for a hard-earned victory over No. 4 maegashira Tosanoumi, joining ozeki Miyabiyama -- who barged out top-ranked maegashira Akinoshima -- at a perfect 7-0 record in the 15-day tourney at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Defending Kyushu champion Musashimaru failed to get control of Chiyotenzan's belt in the day's final bout, allowing the No. 3 maegashira to seize the initiative and twice take the Samoan-born giant to the edge before flipping him down to improve to 4-3.

Takanohana edged a step closer to ending a two-year title drought, defusing a spirited attack from Tosanoumi (4-3) and moving in to usher the No. 4 maegashira out of the ring.

Meanwhile, Musoyama, back at ozeki after posting a 10-5 record at the autumn tourney in September, quickly got to grips with Hayateumi (3-4) at the face-off, but the sekiwake regained his balance to shove the ozeki out and hand him his third loss of the meet.

Yokozuna Akebono blasted out komusubi Tochinohana (2-5) in typically bruising fashion for win his sixth victory, while ozeki Dejima forced out second-ranked maegashira Hamanoshima (1-6) to stay hot on the heels of the front-running duo at 6-1.

Ozeki Kaio opted out of a clash of heads at the charge by simply dodging to the left. He grabbed Wakanosato (1-6) around the neck and hauled him to the dirt surface as the hometown favorite also joined the six-way tie for second place.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai burst out of his stance and delivered a barrage of slaps and thrusts to sekiwake Takanonami, sending him hurtling out of the ring to improve to 6-1, along with ninth-ranked maegashira Kotomitsuki.

Mongolia's sixth-ranked maegashira Kyokutenho breezed to a third win, needing only an instant to drag down winless No. 5 maegashira Takatoriki.

Kyokushuzan, a No. 3 maegashira who is also from Mongolia, slumped to his sixth loss against top-ranked Wakanoyama (2-5).



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