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Saturday, March 16, 2002

Maru stays perfect

OSAKA -- Yokozuna Musashimaru bundled out Kyokushuzan and ozeki Kaio floored Tochinonada on Friday as both wrestlers preserved their unblemished records on the sixth day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musashimaru and Kaio moved to 6-0, one win ahead of rank-and-filers Shimotori and Toki while ozeki Chiyotaikai and Tochiazuma both kept their faint hopes of promotion to yokozuna alive with easy wins in the 15-day meet at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

In the day's final bout, Mongolian Kyokushuzan tried to unsettle Musashimaru by twice jumping the gun but the grand champion had too much class for his lower-ranked opponent.

After shrugging off a series of thrusts and jabs Musashimaru launched his own attack and tangoed Kyokushuzan (1-5) around the ring before squashing the third-ranked maegashira for the win.

Earlier, Kaio took control of the his bout with Tochinonada after a clash of heads at the charge and latched on to No. 3 maegashira's belt before slamming his opponent down to the sandy surface with a powerful overarm-throw.

Ozeki Tochiazuma needed only a few seconds to end his two-bout losing streak as the New Year champion tore into Tosanoumi at the face off and hauled the top-ranked maegashira down by the neck to improve to 4-2.

Similarly, Chiyotaikai required minimum effort in sending No. 2 maegashira Kotonowaka (2-4) sliding across the ring before twisting him down for his fourth win of the tournament.

Elsewhere, sekiwake Kotomitsuki saw his chances of promotion to ozeki dealt another blow as the Sadogatake stable wrestler was given a good hiding by komusubi Wakanosato, leaving both men with 3-3 records.

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