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Saturday, May 18, 2002

International trio tied for lead

Yokozuna Musashimaru ousted hapless Takanonami in a quiet storm to remain undefeated Friday but the ozeki duo of Kaio and Tochiazuma were tripped up at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hawaiian-born Musashimaru charged forward steadily in the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan and slipped his right arm underneath the armpit of the No. 2 maegashira to pry the tricky former ozeki out of the ring for his sixth straight win of the tourney.

Takanonami tried a desperate last-second arm throw at the ring's edge but the Samoan-born grand champion simply slid his right leg behind and bellied the winless maegashira over the straw bales.

With the win, Musashimaru remained even with ozeki Chiyotaikai and No. 10 maegashira Kyokushuzan from Mongolia in the tournament lead.

In the day's upsets, Tochiazuma launched a solid frontal attack against Aminishiki and appeared to have the top-ranked maegashira on the run before the tables suddenly turned.

Aminishiki used an arm-throw while tiptoeing along the edge of the ring and somehow kept his left foot from stepping over the barrier to saddle the ozeki with his second loss of the tournament. Aminishiki moved to 2-4.

Kaio clashed against the fiery Asashoryu but was tossed out with a crafty underarm throw at the ring's edge to sink to 3-3. Asashoryu, who is nursing a sore left shoulder, stands at 4-2.

Chiyotaikai bumped heads with third-ranked maegashira Miyabiyama (2-4) and never let up, pushing and shoving the former ozeki over the edge while averting a slap-down to maintain his unblemished record.

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