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Friday, July 13, 2001

Maru, Kaio keep slates clean

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru powered on perfectly Thursday, dispensing of a spirited challenge from Toki to stay unbeaten on the fifth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Kaio remains tied for the lead as the only other wrestler without a loss against his name after downing top-ranked maegashira Hayateumi at the 15-day tourney at Aichi Prefectural Gym. In the day's final bout, Toki (1-4) started off with a fierce head-charge at Musashimaru (5-0) and then exchanged a series of arm-thrusts with the huge yokozuna before the power of the grand champion proved too much for the No. 3 maegashira.

Kaio (5-0) survived a scare when Hayateumi (1-4) lifted the ozeki out from on top of the straw bales, but the Oitekaze stabler's heel touched down outside the ring as he executed the throw.

Ozeki pair Chiyotaikai and Musoyama are part of a seven-way tie one off the early pace with komusubi Wakanosato and four rank-and-filers.

Local favorite Kotomitsuki (2-3) got under the attacking thrusts of Chiyotaikai (4-1) from the charge but the ozeki stayed cool, steering the sekiwake around the ring then slapping him to the dirt to disappoint the partisan crowd.

Musoyama (4-1) did just enough to see off No. 4 maegashira Tosanoumi (3-2) without looking convincing while fellow Musashigawa stable ozeki Miyabiyama (1-4) suffered a fourth loss after going down against No. 3 maegashira Tochinonada (1-3).

Dejima (3-2) needs to record eight wins at this tourney to stay at his rank but never got into the swing against No. 5 maegashira Kyokushuzan (3-2). The Mongolian twisted his higher-ranked opponent down and delivered a second consecutive loss to the ozeki.

Mongolian komusubi Asashoryu (2-3) is going in the opposite direction, delving into his bag of trusty arm-throws to see off winless top-ranked maegashira Takanonami and winning his second straight to continue his recovery from an unusually slow start.

In the lower ranks, Aminishiki (2-3) stayed calm up against the bales early in his bout with Mongolian Kyokutenho (2-3), grabbing the No. 11 maegashira's belt and twisting him out for the win.

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