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Tuesday, March 13, 2001


No surprises at spring tourney

OSAKA -- Yokozuna and ozeki were spared embarrassment by lower-ranked wrestlers Monday as they all posted comfortable wins on a rare upset-free day on the second day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

Takanohana sent maegashira top gun Kotoryu packing, while fellow grand champion Musashimaru eased out sekiwake Wakanosato as both registered their second wins in as many days in the 15-day meet at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Takanohana showed nifty footwork before using his trusty right-hand grip to twist and shunt Kotoryu (0-2) out of the dohyo ring and Musashimaru followed suit with his trademark neck thrust to crush out Wakanosato, who moved to 1-1.

Joining sumo's yokozuna duo with perfect records were ozeki trio Musoyama, Dejima and Kaio while Miyabiyama, the fourth wrestler at the sport's second-highest post, made amends for his opening-day hiccup.

Musoyama completed a clean sweep for the ozeki quartet, charging out of his crouch like raging bull to dump newly promoted sekiwake Tochinonada (1-1) for another comfortable win.

Kaio picked up an easy second win by quickly bulldozing third-ranked maegashira Kotomitsuki out to his second loss before Dejima plowed fifth-ranked Akinoshima (1-1) over the straw bales, leaving him with six more wins to avoid losing his ozeki rank.

Miyabiyama bounced back, if unconvincingly, from Sunday's upset loss to rank-and-filer Chiyotenzan for a hard-fought first win over winless fifth-ranked Mongolian trickster Kyokushuzan.

Meanwhile, both komusubi slipped up against lower-ranked opponents as veteran No. 3 maegashira Takanonami (1-1) bustled out Tochiazuma and fourth-ranked Takanowaka (1-1) slapped down Wakanoyama to leave both grapplers nursing winless records.

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