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Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2001
Big boys cruise on Day 2
Yokozuna and ozeki had a rare upset-free day on the second day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday as they pulled off a string of convincing wins with few scares from lower-ranked opponents.
Musashimaru demolished No. 3 maegashira Kaiho while fellow grand champion Takanohana sent Wakanoyama, also ranked third in the maegashira ranks, sprawling for their second wins in as many days in the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Musashimaru needed just two devastating shoves to topple Kaiho (0-2) seconds after the faceoff before Takanohana, despite lacking the speed and power that brought him 20 Emperor's Cups, neatly put out Wakanoyama (1-1) after some mid-ring tussles.
Joining the yokozuna pair with unbeaten records were ozeki trio Musoyama, Miyabiyama and Chiyotaikai along with four makuuchi grapplers, including up-and-coming Mongolian trickster Asashoryu.
Musoyama barely broke a sweat in toppling komusubi Takanowaka (0-2) at the ring's edge, minutes before Miyabiyama unleashed a similar sequence of thrusts and shoves for an easy force-out win against newly promoted sekiwake Wakanosato (1-1).
Chiyotaikai tripped up top maegashira Takanonami (1-1), a veteran former ozeki who showed his old prowess in beating current ozeki Dejima on Sunday.
Dejima bounced back from the opening-day defeat with a force-out win against komusubi Tochinonada (0-2) in a one-sided bout. The other ozeki, Kaio, also notched his first win by walking No. 1 maegashira Tochisakae (0-2) out over the straw ridge.
Newly promoted sekiwake Kotomitsuki, a surprise runnerup in Kyushu in November as a ninth-ranked maegashira, rolled No. 4 maegashira Akinoshima down to the dirt, leaving both wrestlers at 1-1.
In the first-ever makuuchi division meeting between Mongolian wrestlers, Asashoryu drove out his school-day idol Kyokushuzan (0-2) after a slapping duel for his second straight win in his debut in the top flight.
10 maegashira Oginishiki withdrew from the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday due to an arm injury he sustained in an opening-day bout Sunday.