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Sunday, Jan. 14, 2001

DAY 7

Musashimaru, Takanohana win again

Yokozuna Takanohana eased out top maegashira Tochisakae and fellow grand champion Musashimaru earned a hard-fought win over rank-and-filer Tochinonada on Saturday to remain the unbeaten leaders seven days into New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Takanohana, aiming to lift his first Emperor's Cup in more than two years, nonchalantly ushered Tochisakae (1-6) out of the ring, but Musashimaru's opponent gave him more than he bargained for in the final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Musashimaru looked to be on his way to his first loss of the tourney as No. 6 maegashira Tochinonada, cheered on by a full house, lifted him up onto the straw bails.

But the Samoan-born giant stepped up a gear and bustled his smaller opponent to the other side of the ring and forced him out, keeping alive his own quest to lift the first Emperor's Cup of the new millennium.

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the front-running duo with six wins against one loss are No. 7 maegashira Kotoryu and 14th-ranked Asanowaka, who posted wins over sixth-ranked Chiyotenzan (3-4) and ninth-ranked Tokitsuumi (4-3), respectively.

At ozeki, defending New Year champion Musoyama bounced back from defeat Friday by blasting out fifth-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi (3-4) for his fourth win.

Ozeki Dejima (4-3) barely broke sweat as he bulldozed komusubi Takanowaka (2-5) over the straw boundary, and a windmill of thrusts from Kaio were met with little resistance from second-ranked maegashira Kotonowaka (3-4) as the newest ozeki improved to 5-2.

However, Miyabiyama (4-3) let down the ozeki quartet, going down to top-ranked maegashira Takanonami, who lifted the Musashigawa stable wrestler out for only his second win of the 15-day meet. Newly promoted Wakanosato made short work of Kotomitsuki, winning with an arm-lock throw to move to 5-2 and leave his fellow sekiwake nursing a 1-6 record.

Eighth-ranked Kyokutenho slipped out of the chasing pack with a loss to No. 12 Asashoryu.



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