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Saturday, Jan. 13, 2001


Easy day's work for yokozuna

Yokozuna Musashimaru and Takanohana posted a pair of easy wins over maegashira-ranked foes Friday to remain the unbeaten co-leaders six days into the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musashimaru slapped top maegashira Tochisakae (1-5) out of the ring at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan and Takanohana made quick work of Tosanoumi (3-3) as he waltzed the fifth-ranked maegashira over the straw border to keep pace with his grand champion rival.

Meanwhile, the chasing pack -- one win behind at 5-1 -- was trimmed to three lower-ranked wrestlers, including Kyokutenho, a No. 8 maegashira from Mongolia who slapped down Tamakasuga (2-4) in an early bout.

However, fellow-Mongol Asashoryu, a makuuchi newcomer on the 12th maegashira rung, fell out of the pack at 4-2 when he misfired with an ill-advised arm drag attempt and was bulldozed out by No. 7 Kotoryu (5-1).

Joining Kyokutenho and Kotoryu at 5-1 is No. 14 Asanowaka, who opened the day's Makuuchi Division bouts by shoving out Terao (2-4), who was wrestling out of the second-tier Juryo Division.

Nearing the midway point of the tourney, the holders of sumo's three top ranks after yokozuna -- ozeki, sekiwake and komusubi -- continued with a mixed bag of results as komusubi upset both sekiwake and three of the four ozeki managed wins.

Komusubi Tochinonada notched his second straight sekiwake scalp, driving Wakanosato out to leave both wrestlers at 4-2. Takanowaka marched out Kotomitsuki for only his second win as the runnerup at the Kyushu tourney in November fell to his fifth loss.

At the second highest rank of ozeki, Kaio threw Takanonami into the ringside seats for his fourth win while tagging the top maegashira and former ozeki with his fifth straight loss.

Miyabiyama, also 4-2, drove out Kaiho (1-5) for a one-sided win while Dejima drew level at 3-3 with a frontal force-out win over No. 2 maegashira Kotonowaka (3-3).

Musoyama, however, fell to ex-sekiwake Tochiazuma.

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