Tuesday, January 19, 1999
TOKYO -- Yokozuna Wakanohana fought off a determined challenge by fifth-ranked maegashira Tokitsuumi on Tuesday to remain unbeaten and in sole possession of the lead after the 10th day of the New Year Grand Sumo tournament.
Wakanohana still tops;
Musashimaru wins one
Tokitsuumi, in his first meeting with Wakanohana, came out on the attack and shoved the grand champion back several steps shortly after the face-off of the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
But Wakanohana, bidding for his first Emperor's Cup since his promotion to sumo's highest rank last summer, held his ground, forcing Tokitsuumi, 3-7, to the edge and shoving him out to maintain a perfect 10-0 record.
Sekiwake Chiyotaikai, meanwhile, kept the pressure on Wakanohana and improved to 9-1 after a convincing win over struggling ozeki Takanonami.
The Kokonoe stable wrestler, looking for promotion to ozeki, forced Takanonami out to his sixth loss with several powerful arm thrusts to the face and neck.
Kotoryu improved to 5-5 while Takanohana, who continues to struggle at the New Year tourney, lost for the first time in six bouts and now stands with a record of 6-4, virtually out of contention for the Emperor's Cup.
Defending champion Musashimaru, also displaying sub-par performances, posted an easy win over No. 4 maegashira Minatofuji, 3-7, as the Hawaiian-born ozeki muscled his opponent out to even his mark to 5-5.
In the day's only major upset, No. 5 maegashira Kotoryu stunned yokozuna Takanohana immediately after the face-off when he sidestepped the charging grand champion and slapped him down to his fourth defeat of the tourney.
In a marathon bout that lasted well over two minutes, komusubi Kotonishiki outlasted Akinoshima, 7-3, when he got his arms under those of the No. 3 maegashira and pulled him down to the dirt surface for his fourth win.
Earlier, Mongolia's eighth-ranked maegashira Kyokushuzan, 5-5, yanked No. 15 maegashira Dewaarashi down after a stalemate at the center of the ring. Dewaarashi, who missed three days of the tourney due to injury, fell to 1-6.
Results in Scoreboard
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