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Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2000


Akebono crashes in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Grand champion Akebono was slapped down by newly promoted komusubi Wakanosato on Tuesday and ozeki Chiyotaikai hit the dirt against sekiwake Hayateumi for their first defeats at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Meanwhile, Musashimaru and fellow yokozuna Takanohana both posted comfortable wins to stay perfect, while ozeki duo Dejima and Miyabiyama also remain unbeaten three days into the 15-day tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Wakanosato (1-2), wrestling at komusubi for the first time since making his debut in the makuuchi division in the 1996 spring tourney, outmaneuvered Akebono after fighting off the giant Hawaiian's grip at center ring.

Gaining momentum, Wakanosato then forced Akebono off balance before sending him sprawling to the dirt for a surprise win.

Chiyotaikai lunged into newly promoted sekiwake Hayateumi (1-2) with a devastating combination of slaps and thrusts at the face-off, but the Oitekaze stable grappler spun around and dodged to the left to pull the ozeki down for the victory.

Takanohana, who missed the autumn tourney with a sprained elbow, temporarily lost his footing but quickly recovered to lift out komusubi Tochinohana (1-2) as he aims to mark his comeback with a first title in two years.

Defending champion Musashimaru, looking to finish the year with back-to-back championships, quickly locked onto the right of top-ranked maegashira Akinoshima (0-3) before forcing him out to retain a perfect 3-0 record.

Musoyama (2-1), back wrestling as an ozeki after a 10-5 record at sekiwake in the autumn tourney, wriggled free of Mongolian third-ranked maegashira Kyokushuzan's grip to ram the former komusubi out to his second loss.

Fukuoka native Kaio (2-1) got the job done by bulldozing sekiwake Takanonami (0-3) onto the ringside cushions.

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