H A W A I I _ S U M O T O R I

Kyodo News Service

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Kyodo News Service
Chiyotaikai, left, tumbles Musashimaru, or Fiamalu
Penitani from Hawaii, on Wednesday, during the 11th day
of the 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

Wakanohana at 11-0

Musashimaru slips again

TOKYO -- Grand champion Wakanohana put on another textbook display Wednesday to remain perfect at 11-0, while sekiwake Chiyotaikai pulled out a clutch win over ozeki Musashimaru to stay one win off the pace at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

In the day's penultimate bout, Wakanohana wrapped No. 5 maegashira Kotoryu, 5-6, in a vice-like grip straight from the charge before easily waltzing him out to the delight of a packed house at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

As Wakanohana moved a step closer to his first Emperor's Cup triumph since his promotion to sumo's highest rank last May, Chiyotaikai cleared another giant hurdle in his quest to reach ozeki -- one step below yokozuna.

Quick in at the charge, Chiyotaikai forced up Musashimaru's center of gravity and, spotting his Hawaii-born opponent off balance as he tried to compensate, showed lightning reactions to drag him to the dirt surface to register his 10th win of the 15-day meet.

"I saw him try to grab my belt with his right hand, but luckily I was able to get into position to pull him down," Chiyotaikai said afterward.

Musashimaru slipped to 5-6 with the loss -- the same mark as fellow ozeki Takanonami, who rebounded from Tuesday's defeat to Chiyotaikai with a force-out win over No. 4 maegashira Toki, 5-6.

Meanwhile, yokozuna Takanohana scratched out a win over No. 5 maegashira Tokitsuumi, 3-8, to improve his record to 7-4, but the grand champion was made to work hard by his slippery opponent before finally nailing him with an arm lock and twisting him onto his knees.

Sekiwake Kotonowaka was upset by fourth-ranked maegashira Minatofuji, 4-7, who pulled out a slick throw to send the tall Sadogatake wrestler sprawling to his fifth loss against six wins.

Komusubi Tochiazuma boosted his record to 6-5 after making short work of his bout with sekiwake Musoyama, who came in too low at the charge and was sent crashing into the front-row seats from behind to slip to 7-4.

Meanwhile, Kyushu champion Kotonishiki fell to 4-7 and was left facing an immediate demotion from sumo's "sanyaku" ranks -- the top three slots below yokozuna -- after being flung down by fellow komusubi Dejima, who improved to 6-5.

Lower down the rankings, No. 14 maegashira Chiyotenzan made sure of a majority of wins in his debut in sumo's elite makuuchi division as he muscled out 12th-ranked Hamanoshima, leaving both wrestlers with 8-3 records.

Results in Scoreboard

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