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Saturday, May 19, 2001
Takanohana remains unbeaten
Yokozuna Takanohana once again recovered from a slow start and muscled out top maegashira Takanowaka Friday to grab a share of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday with journeyman wrestler Higonoumi.
Ozeki Kaio, meanwhile, appears to have blown his chances for promotion to sumo's top rank as he fell to his third defeat of the tourney at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan at the hands of Wakanosato.
Takanohana spotted Takanowaka (2-4) the advantage at the face-off, but came back to force the top maegashira over the straw bales to keep his record unblemished at 6-0.
Crowd-favorite Asashoryu (4-2), meanwhile, once again gave an effervescent display of sumo, reaching several times into his bag of tricks but was not able to find the right move to dump sekiwake Tochiazuma (4-2).
The Mongolian, outstanding against the top fighters at the beginning of the tournament, beating Musashimaru and three ozeki, failed to deal with the sekiwake and was pushed out of the ring.
Kotomitsuki (4-2) is another komusubi who has now claimed three ozeki scalps in the tournament but it took him 10 minutes and two restarts to finally get the better of Musoyama.
The marathon bout had to be stopped twice after reaching stalemates, but following a second restart, Kotomitsuki found the energy to power the Musashigawa-stable ozeki out. Ozeki Kaio (3-3) was in trouble from the start against Wakanosato (3-3) and was thrown down by the No. 1 maegashira. Samoa-born yokozuna Musashimaru (4-2) slapped down hapless Tochinonada (0-6).
Higonoumi, competing in his 50th consecutive tournament in the top division without ever reaching the upper ranks, now finds himself sharing the lead as the tournament nears the end of the first week.
The Wakayama native moved his record to a perfect 6-0 after dumping Otsukasa (3-3) but the 11th-ranked maegashira will find it difficult to keep up the challenge when he has to face wrestlers at the higher ranks in the latter half of the 15-day tournament.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai (5-1) kept within one win of the lead by downing No. 3 maegashira Tosanoumi (1-5).