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


Star-Bulletin news services

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

Musashimaru’s yokozuna
hopes still alive

TOKYO, May 19 (Kyodo) -- Musashimaru looked every inch yokozuna material Wednesday as he made quick work of No. 4 maegashira Aogiyama to maintain a share of the lead with rank-and-filers Toki and Wakanosato at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Knowing another slip-up could blow his chances of promotion to yokozuna, Musashimaru shrugged off a false start to boost his record to 9-2 by intelligently closing down Aogiyama’s ring space and shoving him out with the minimum of fuss.

Musashimaru, who captured his fourth Emperor’s Cup at the spring meet in March, next faces eighth-ranked maegashira Toki, who impressed a packed crowd at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan as he unloaded on 13th-ranked maegashira Hamanoshima, 6-5, to keep pace with the giant Hawaiian-born ozeki.

Yokozuna Akebono kept his place in the chasing pack of four wrestlers on 8-3 after picking up an easy win against Mongolian No. 4 maegashira Kyokushuzan, 4-7, who -- like Kotonishiki on Tuesday -- tried a trick move at the charge, but got walloped onto the front-row cushions for his trouble.

Kotonishiki, a No. 3 maegashira, saw his hopes of repeating his surprise championship at last November’s Kyushu tourney fade as the ringside judges ruled that he had hit the dirt first in a close bout with 10th-ranked maegashira Wakanosato, who boosted his record to 9-2. Kotonishiki slipped to 7-4.

Ozeki Takanonami improved to 8-3 by muscling out veteran No. 5 maegashira Tochinowaka, while sekiwake duo Dejima and Kaio remain in the title hunt after straightforward wins over out-of-sorts komusubi Takatoriki, 1-10, and second-ranked maegashira Tochinonada, 3-8, respectively.

Fellow sekiwake Akinoshima grabbed his sixth win of the 15-day meet as he forced out fifth-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga, 5-6, and komusubi Tochiazuma ripped down top-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi, 5-6, to move to 7-4.

No. 14 maegashira Kyokutenho of Mongolia slipped two wins off the pace as he was crushed by seventh-ranked maegashira Higonoumi, who improved to an identical 7-4 record.

Tochinonada hit by summer sumo injury jinx

TOKYO, May 19 (Kyodo) -- Second-ranked maegashira Tochinonada indicated that he will take no further part in the ongoing Summer Grand Sumo Tournament after injuring his left elbow in a loss to sekiwake Kaio on Wednesday.

Doctors who examined Tochinonada after he left the ring at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan clutching his left arm said that the Kasugano stable wrestler had sustained ligament damage to his elbow and would need at least two months to recover.

Tochinonada, who slipped to 3-8 in the 15-day tourney with the defeat, crashed hard to the dirt surface after Kaio executed a right arm-lock throw to improve his own record to 8-3.

Results in Scoreboard

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