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Monday, March 12, 2001

DAY 1

Miyabiyama dealt Day 1 defeat

Ozeki Miyabiyama suffered the ignominy of going down to a second-ranked maegashira Sunday as Chiyotenzan caused the only major upset on the opening day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

However, the yokozuna pair of Takanohana and Musashimaru and the ozeki trio of Dejima, Musoyama and Kaio all kicked off the 15-day tournament at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium with comfortable wins.

Miyabiyama, who has struggled to justify his promotion to sumo's second-highest rank last May, rode his luck from the face-off with a weak attack, but hometown favorite Chiyotenzan quickly forced the Musashigawa stable grappler onto the raised ring's straw ridge.

Miyabiyama recovered momentarily only to be thrown off balance again as the former komusubi finished the job by barging his opponent out of the ring.

At sumo's premier rank, yokozuna Musashimaru barely broke a sweat as he quickly disposed of Mongolian Kyokutenho to hand the top-ranked maegashira an opening day defeat.

Meanwhile, Takanohana, seeking to lift back-to-back Emperor's Cups after ending a two-year title drought at the New Year tourney, used a powerful right-hand grip to fend off the challenge of komusubi Tochiazuma for a textbook victory.

At ozeki, Musoyama, looking to restore some pride after failing to record double-digit wins at the New Year tourney, bolted out of his crouch and only needed an instant to march top-ranked maegashira Kotoryu out from behind.

Kaio kick-started his title campaign with a frontal force-out win over komusubi Wakanoyama, while Dejima began his battle to avoid demotion from ozeki with a no-nonsense win by blasting out second-ranked maegashira Hayateumi.



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