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Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2000

DAY 9

Unbeaten wrestlers fall in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Takanohana and ozeki Miyabiyama were handed their first losses of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, leaving six wrestlers tied for the lead as the 15-day tourney heads into its final week.

Ozeki Musoyama secured control of the front of Takanohana's sash in the initial charge of the day's finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center and dropped the grand champion onto his back outside the ring to leave all of the leaders level at eight wins and one loss.

Musoyama, although out of the race for the Emperor's Cup, posted his fifth win and served notice that he could play a spoiler's role over the final six days of the tournament.

Miyabiyama, meanwhile, had no answer for Wakanosato (3-6) as the komusubi, fighting to stave off demotion, took control of the ozeki's belt and dumped his opponent over the straw ridge.

Grand champions Akebono and Musashimaru drew even with the leaders at 8-1, with Akebono ramming No. 3 maegashira Chiyotenzan (4-5) out of the ring while Musashimaru won by default over sekiwake Hayateumi (4-5), who had pulled out with an injured right knee.

Hayateumi, newly promoted to sumo's third-highest rank of sekiwake for the Kyushu tourney, appeared to twist his knee in a win over komusubi Tochinohana a day earlier.

In a bout featuring ozeki with identical 7-1 records, Chiyotaikai of Oita Prefecture erupted out of his crouch at the faceoff, running Fukuoka favorite Kaio (7-2) out of the ring for an eighth win.

No. 9 maegashira Kotomitsuki kept pace with the leaders by shoving fifth-ranked Toki (4-5) out of the ring.

In other main bouts, ozeki Dejima was backed out by No. 4 maegashira Tosanoumi (5-4) for a third loss while former ozeki Takanonami, wrestling at sekiwake, ended his eight-match losing streak by waltzing out second-ranked Higonoumi (2-7).

Mongolia's Kyokushuzan appeared headed for his eighth loss of the tourney and certain demotion from his current No. 3 maegashira ranking, but pulled down Takatoriki (1-8) at the edge of the ring for his second win of the tourney.

Mongolian compatriot Kyokutenho (4-5) also posted a win, pulling Tamakasuga (5-4) off balance and then toppling the No. 10 maegashira over the edge of the ring.



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