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Sunday, Sept. 22, 2002

Takanohana outmuscles Kaio, sets up clash with Musashimaru

Yokozuna Takanohana scored a hard-fought win against ozeki Kaio in a meeting between joint leaders Saturday to set up a mega-showdown with rival grand champion Musashimaru on the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's finale, Takanohana (12-2) struggled to get a firm grip on the belt of his elusive opponent but finally set Kaio up for his infamous over-the-arm throw, knocking the ozeki to his third loss and out of contention for the prized Emperor's Cup.

Musashimaru (12-2) prevailed over Chiyotaikai (10-4) with an elbow-clamp force-out, using his massive body to belly the ozeki over the bales after a power struggle at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Musashimaru appeared headed for a clear victory from the start as he pushed Chiyotaikai to the edge but the ozeki held on and fought back with some shoves of his own before the massive Samoan eventually claimed victory.

Seventh-ranked Kotomitsuki (11-3) continued his surge with a convincing win over Asashoryu (9-5), driving the Mongolian ozeki to the bales with an underarm throw after a long tussle at center-ring.

Ozeki Musoyama (8-6) had to get out of jail in a struggle with Wakanosato (8-6) but used a well-timed twist down to notch a winning record and keep rank.

Eleventh-ranked Mongolian maegashira Kyokushuzan (8-6) secured a winning record by slapping down 10th-ranked Kasuganishiki (5-9). Compatriot Kyokutenho (7-7) evened out his record with a crisp takedown of sekiwake Tosanoumi (6-8).

No. 4 maegashira Takanowaka secured a winning record at the basho by pulling down No. 1 maegashira Miyabiyama, sending him to his eighth loss.



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