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Thursday, Jan. 11, 2001


Takanohana, Musashimaru the only unbeatens after Day 4

Yokozuna Takanohana and Musashimaru showed their supremacy on the raised ring with convincing wins Wednesday to emerge as the only unbeaten wrestlers on the fourth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

But it was another embarrassing show from ozeki as three of the four grapplers wrestling at sumo's second-highest rank fell to defeat in a second straight day of upsets in the 15-day tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Takanohana, showing the kind of form that has won him 20 Emperor's Cups, overwhelmed newly promoted sekiwake Kotomitsuki (1-3) with a powerful throw as he aims to end a title drought that stretches back to September 1998.

In the preceding bout, Musashimaru never looked in any danger of being the victim of an upset loss. The Samoan-born giant delivered a devastating series of slaps and neck thrusts before shoving out fourth-ranked maegashira Tochiazuma (2-2) for a no-nonsense win.

Miyabiyama, one of the four ozeki upstaged by lower-ranked wrestlers on Tuesday, came to the rescue for the Musashigawa stable by flooring No. 4 maegashira Akinoshima (2-2) as stable-mates Dejima and Musoyama topped the latest ozeki casualty list. Dejima (1-3) failed to capitalize on his aggressive charge and fifth-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi (2-2) made him pay dearly when he pulled the ozeki off balance and onto the dirt.

Musoyama (2-2) attempted to bounce back from Tuesday's defeat but his slaps and thrusts were wide of the mark, enabling fifth-ranked Tamakasuga to twist him down for win No. 2.

Veteran Kaio, the only ozeki to win on Tuesday, was sent backpedaling out of the ring by komusubi Tochinonada to leave both wrestlers at 2-2 before Miyabiyama halted the ozeki collapse by dragging down No. 4 maegashira Akinoshima (2-2) for his third win. Meanwhile, Mongolian No. 10 maegashira Kyokushuzan (2-2) slapped down winless No. 13 Tamarikido, while compatriots Kyoukutenho and Asashoryu ended their unbeaten runs.

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