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Saturday, July 14, 2001

Big guns remain on course

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru and all ozeki were spared embarrassment by lower-ranked wrestlers Friday as all those competing posted comfortable wins on a rare upset-free day at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Dejima provided the major talking point of the sixth day of the 15-day tourney as he failed to make his bout against Tochinonada at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium following injury and now is staring demotion to sekiwake in the face.

Musashimaru chalked up his sixth straight win in the day's final bout and looked calm as he quickly disposed of Higonoumi (3-3), muscling the No. 2 maegashira out in a matter of seconds.

Ozeki Kaio (6-0) also stayed in the two-way tie at the top with a perfect record, bulldozing his way through komusubi Asashoryu (2-4).

The ozeki got all over the Mongolian from the charge, preventing the upset-minded grappler from using one of his many throws and easily backed him out of the raised ring.

Dejima (3-3) pulled out from his bout with Tochinonada (3-3) with an inflamed right thigh earlier in the day, handing the No. 3 maegashira the win by default.

The Musashigawa-stable wrestler needs to recover quickly and come back to record a minimum of eight victories to stay at his rank but initial prognosis makes this scenario unlikely, with doctors telling the ozeki he requires 10 days complete rest.

Ozeki Musoyama (5-1) stayed within touch one back from the two leaders, using his strength and balance to steer clear of any potential danger from Hayateumi (1-5), eventually working the top-ranked maegashira back out the ring.

Takanonami (0-6) tried to jump away from the charge of Chiyotaikai (5-1) but the ozeki second-guessed the top-ranked maegashira and quickly muscled the veteran out to keep him in the seven-way tie with komusubi Wakanosato and four rank-and-filers.

Elsewhere, the Mongolian duo in the lower ranks had a bad day at the office, with Kyokutenho (2-4) hitting the dirt against Oginishiki (5-1) and Kyokushuzan (3-3) going down to Tamanoshima (5-1).

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