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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

DAY 9

Kaio takes first defeat

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Ozeki Kaio stumbled to his first loss while Yokozuna Musashimaru manhandled maegashira Otsukasa to breeze through to an easy victory and retain a spotless record on a day of upsets at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai stood firm, bulldozing his way to a comfortable win to stay in a five-way tie with Kaio and three lower-ranked wrestlers at 8-1 as they chase the big Samoan in the 15-day tournament at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

The day's biggest upset came in the penultimate bout, in which top-ranked maegashira and former ozeki Takanonami (2-7) appeared to have got the upper hand against Kaio even before their fight began.

Kaio lost his nerve and had to redo the tachiai three times and never had control throughout the bout as Takanonami quickly yanked the ozeki sideways onto one leg before dumping him over the raised ridge.

In Sunday's final bout, Otsukasa (3-6) ran into a brick wall when he tried to lunge at Musashimaru with a fake move but the grand champion did not budge and sent the No. 4 maegashira out of the ring with a series of rapid shoves and thrusts.

Chiyotaikai head-butted Higonoumi (3-6) off the charge and throttled him around the throat to force the No. 2 maegashira from the straw ridge in a matter of seconds.

Another upset victim was ozeki Musoyama (7-2), who landed flat on his face when he tried to strong-arm Toki (3-6) but came flying off the charge with thrusting shoves, only to be pulled off-balance by the No. 3 maegashira and sent headlong into the dirt.

Ozeki Miyabiyama (4-5), who had struggled to scrape out three wins, finally looked back in form as he calmly used the rampaging Asashoryu's momentum against him to send the Mongolian komusubi out of the ring for his sixth loss.



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