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Tuesday, July 11, 2000

DAY 2

Bad day for Musashigawa stable

Yokozuna Musashimaru stumbled to defeat at the hands of komusubi Tosanoumi while two of his ozeki stablemates, Miyabiyama and Musoyama, also crashed in second-day upsets at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Grand champions Akebono and Takanohana, meanwhile, posted easy victories and defending champion Dejima, the third of the Musashigawa stable's vaunted ozeki trio, also won on the second day of the 15-day tourney at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Musashimaru, returning from a knee injury that forced him out of the entire summer tourney in May, appeared to be in control of his match, forcing Tosanoumi to the edge of the ring off the initial charge.

The komusubi, however, pulled the hard-driving Samoan-born wrestler over the bales at the last moment, leaving both wrestlers at 1-1 and capping a disastrous day for Musashigawa wrestlers.

In an earlier bout, sekiwake Kaio, campaigning for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank, shoved out Musoyama in a close encounter for his second win while the ozeki, needing eight wins to retain champion status, slipped to 1-1.

Newly promoted ozeki Miyabiyama looked lost against seasoned veteran Akinoshima as the wily top maegashira dragged the 22-year-old grappler to the ring's surface and tagged him with a second straight loss.

Dejima, the winner of last year's basho in Nagoya, saved a bit of face for the stable being hailed as the latest powerhouse in sumo by thrusting out komusubi Tamakasuga.

In other bouts, yokozuna Akebono, who has gone more than three years without winning a championship, rammed out sekiwake Takanonami for a second win while fellow-grand champion Takanohana, seeking to end a two-year winless spell himself, threw down top maegashira Tochinohana.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai bounced back from Sunday's defeat by Takanonami to beat No. 2 maegashira Toki.

In only his second bout in the makuuchi division, American No. 13 maegashira Sentoryu barged out 14th-ranked Aogiyama to add to his opening-day victory.



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