NAGOYA, July 12 --Sekiwake Dejima blasted yokozuna Takanohana out of the ring in a one-sided bout Monday and held onto a share of the three-way tie for the lead nine days into the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
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Dejima notched his eighth win against one loss to keep pace with yokozuna Akebono and ozeki Chiyotaikai, while the sekiwake's senior mate at the Musashigawa stable, yokozuna Musashimaru, saw his chances of a third straight Emperor's Cup seriously hurt with a third loss.
In Monday's featured final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, between 7-1 wrestlers, Dejima surprised Takanohana at the face-off, clearing the center of the ring before the grand champion was even fully out of his crouch.
Dejima drove Takanohana to the edge of the ring, where the grand champion, winner of the last four Nagoya tournaments, desperately attempted a headlock but was knocked out of the ring for a second loss.
Newly promoted yokozuna Musashimaru, seeking to rebound from a loss to Chiyotaikai the previous day and get his title hopes back on track, easily backed Kaio up against the straw ridge but could not finish the struggling sekiwake off.
Kaio unleashed a throw at the edge of the ring and, as both wrestlers tumbled out, appeared to touch down first with his hand.
The ringside judges ruled, however, that Musashimaru's hand was the first to hit, giving Kaio only his third win of the tournament.
In another key bout, Akebono knocked Takanonami, 6-3, back with a hard charge at the face-off and followed up quickly for his eighth win, while improving to 28-5 against the Futagoyama stable ozeki.
Chiyotaikai slapped down No. 3 maegashira Takatoriki, 2-7, for his eighth win to remain among the leaders, ensuring that he will remain at the ozeki rank despite a losing record in March and missing all of the May tourney with a broken nose.
A third Musashigawa stable wrestler, former sekiwake Musoyama, posted a win to stay one step behind the leaders with Takanohana.
Musoyama, wrestling in his first tourney since dislocating his shoulder in March, chased down Terao, 4-5, and shoved the elusive veteran out of the ring for his seventh win in a row after opening with a pair of losses on the first two days.
In earlier bouts, Mongolia's Kyokutenho at No. 10 meagashira threw over Wakanoyama with a belt throw to end a three-match losing streak and improve to 5-4. Wakanoyama, who opened with six straight wins, lost his third bout in a row.
Kyokushuzan, at No. 7 maegashira, hooked Kaiho's right heel with his right foot and dropped the fifth-ranked maegashira, 4-5, onto his posterior, also for a fifth win.
Results in Scoreboard
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