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Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002

Kotomitsuki, Chiyotaikai stay undefeated at sumo tourney

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki had to test his mettle against komusubi Wakanosato to remain perfect Friday while ozeki Chiyotaikai had no problem storming out second-ranked Toki at the New Grand Sumo Tournament.

Newly promoted ozeki Tochiazuma also made quick work of former ozeki veteran Takanonami to stay hot on the heels of Chiyotaikai and Kotomitsuki as the only unbeaten wrestlers at 6-0 on the sixth day of the 15-day tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kotomitsuki looked to be in trouble when Wakanosato (4-2) got a piece of his "mawashi" belt at midring, where the two struggled to gain the upper hand.

Wakanosato appeared to have victory in his grasp when he pulled and maneuvered Kotomitsuki back to set up a belt throw but was instead flattened on his back with a hard shove.

Tochiazuma, meanwhile, charged full throttle against Takanonami (4-2) to send the No. 3 maegashira hurtling over the straw bales to hand him his fourth loss of the meet.

Chiyotaikai moved to within two wins of retaining his ozeki rank, thrusting and slapping Toki and finishing off the No. 2 maegashira with a cheeky shove to the belly.

At ozeki, Musoyama (3-3) saw victory crumble before his eyes after he marched Tamanoshima (1-5) to the edge, only to be flipped down sideways while Kaio (4-2) had an easy time shoving out Kyokushuzan (1-5).

In other bouts, Komusubi Kyokutenho quickly muscled out No. 3 maegashira Kaiho (2-4) to post his first win of the tourney while sekiwake Asashoryu (3-3) was wrenched forward by top-ranked maegashira Akinoshima (1-5).

Fourth-ranked maegashira Dejima (3-3) showed some of the sparkle of his ozeki days, swiftly knocking out Otsukasa (1-5).



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