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Sunday, May 19, 2002

Triumvirate remain undefeated

Grand champion Musashimaru swatted Daizen out of the ring to remain undefeated Saturday but stablemate Musoyama fell to a second loss at the hands of ozeki-killer Aminishiki at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musashimaru did not budge once as he calmly pushed and shoved No. 4 maegashira Daizen around the ring and over the edge for a comfortable win in the day's finale at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The Samoa-born yokozuna now shares the lead in a three-way tie with ozeki Chiyotaikai and rank-and-filer Kyokushuzan, who has used a different technique to dispose of his opponents on each of the first seven days of the basho.

Aminishiki, who toppled ozeki Tochiazuma a day earlier on Friday, had a few tricks up his sleeve for Musoyama, who appeared to have the bout all but won.

The Musashigawa stable ozeki, however, got a rude awakening after he pushed Aminishiki (3-4) to the edge only to have the top-ranked maegashira seize his sash with one hand and flip him emphatically to the dirt in an earth-shaking over-arm throw.

In other ozeki bouts, Tochiazuma had his hands full in a fierce clash with Asashoryu (4-3) but got the feisty Mongolian back-peddling after deftly sliding his arms around the sekiwake's belt and pounding him out for his fifth win.

Kaio (4-3) blasted out a hapless former ozeki Takanonami in a matter of seconds to saddle the No. 2 maegashira with his seventh loss in a row.

Chiyotaikai (6-0) popped Tochinonada hard in a whirlwind of thrusts and shoves to the face and never let up to hand the komusubi his fourth loss. Chiyotaikai is seeking his first tournament title in three years.

Meanwhile, No. 9 maegashira Dejima, another member of the Musashigawa stable, surged and bellied out 14th-ranked Shimotori (4-3) to stay one off the pace at 6-1.

Mongolia's Kyokushuzan thwarted a throat-grab and had to struggle but maneuvered to get sixth-ranked Kotonowaka (4-3) turned around for a cheeky shove-out from behind to retain his share of the lead at 7-0.

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