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Friday, May 25, 2001

Takanohana edges closer

Yokozuna Takanohana rolled over ozeki Miyabiyama and moved closer toward his 22nd Emperor's Cup on Thursday with a flawless display of power wrestling at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai stayed just within range of the yokozuna by shoving out Hayateumi for his 11th win at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan while yokozuna Musashimaru remained in contention with his 10th win of the 15-day tourney.

In the day's penultimate bout, Takanohana snared the front of Miyabiyama's sash at the face-off and barged the 8-4 ozeki out of the ring for his 12th straight win of the tourney and his ninth in a row over the Musashigawa stable grappler.

Chiyotaikai got his shoving, thrusting game going early in the match with Hayateumi (7-5) and had little trouble barreling the No. 4 maegashira out of the ring.

The Kokonoe stable ozeki will get a chance to test his thrusters against Takanohana on Friday in a bout that may well decide who takes home the championship hardware Sunday.

Musashimaru, also, has not given up his hopes of spoiling a victory party for the Futagoyama stable and remains in third place following his victory over Kotonowaka (8-4).

The Samoan-born grand champion swiftly muscled out the No. 8 maegashira and now hopes Chiyotaikai can do him a favor and keep the title race alive until his clash with Takanohana on the final day.

Elsewhere, top-ranked maegashira Wakanosato (7-5) threw Asashoryu (6-6) somersaulting onto his back to leave the Mongolian, who upset Musashimaru and three ozeki in the first week, in danger of being saddled with his first-ever tournament with a losing record.

Takanonami (6-6) lifted Kotomitsuki (7-5) up and out by the elbows, the No. 5 maegashira showing the younger komusubi there is still life in the old former ozeki.

In the lower ranks, Tochisakae (6-6) sent Kyokushuzan (8-4) tumbling to the dirt for a fourth defeat while Tamakasuga (5-7) launched Kyokutenho (5-7) into the front-row cushions to complete another bad day for the Mongolian trio.



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