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Monday, May 20, 2002

Chiyo ends 'kadoban' concerns

Chiyotaikai erased the onus of being a "kadoban" ozeki Sunday by ramming Takanowaka out of the ring for his eighth straight win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

The win also kept the Kokonoe stable ozeki in the thick of the race for the Emperor's Cup at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan with yokozuna Musashimaru and surprising Mongolian maegashira Kyokushuzan.

Chiyotaikai came into the summer tourney in danger of losing his ozeki ranking with a second straight losing record after finishing the spring meet in March with an unseemly 7-8 mark.

The burly ozeki, however, has responded with eight straight wins, thumping third-ranked maegashira Takanowaka (2-6) over the bales Sunday to ensure a winning record and an end to his "kadoban" concerns.

Musashimaru, meanwhile, marched out No. 4 maegashira Kyokutenho of Mongolia (3-5) for an easy eighth win as he looks ahead to winning back-to-back championships for the first time since 1999.

Unlikely co-leader Kyokushuzan flung Tamanoshima (4-4) into the ringside seats by the back of the No. 11 maegashira's mawashi (sash) for his eighth in a row with his eighth-different technique.

Kyokushuzan, who suffered through a disastrous 2-13 tournament in March as a No. 3 maegashira, ensured himself a promotion in the rankings for the Nagoya tourney in July with his victory Sunday.

No. 9 maegashira Dejima, the only wrestler one pace behind the leaders, tripped eighth-ranked Kaiho (5-3) to his backside with a step-behind drop for his seventh win.

Also, Musoyama shoved out Akinoshima (3-5) and Tochiazuma bellied Tochinonada (3-5) out of the ring as both ozeki notched their sixth wins of the tournament.

Ozeki Kaio dragged down second-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi (4-4) for his fifth win.

Mongolian sekiwake Asashoryu, forced to go chest-to-chest with Wakanosato (4-4), used an outside leg trip to get the komusubi moving backward and then marched his opponent over the edge for a fifth win.

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