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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001
Kaio tumbles again
Grand champion Musashimaru took care of business with another no-nonsense win over Takanowaka on Monday but yokozuna candidate Kaio went down to Asashoryu for a second shock defeat at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Chiyotaikai managed to salvage some pride for his rank after Miyabiyama and Musoyama also found their names on the ozeki casualty list following humiliating defeats in the 15-day tourney at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Defending champion Musashimaru, winless since lifting the Emperor's Cup here last year, rarely looked troubled in the day's final bout and required minimum effort in blasting second-ranked maegashira Takanowaka (1-1) out of the ring.
In contrast, Kaio, aiming for the second time to join Musashimaru and the injured Takanohana at sumo's ultimate rank of yokozuna, showed no signs of the prowess that saw him triumph in Nagoya in July and avoid demotion to sekiwake.
Mongolian maegashira top gun Asashoryu (1-1) seized his opportunity to get a two-handed grip on the back of his illustrious opponent's belt and from there managed to shunt his opponent over the straw ridge and claim his second win in three bouts against the ozeki wrestler.
Relegation-threatened ozeki Miyabiyama (0-2) became the next upset victim by going down to No. 1 maegashira Kotonowaka (1-1) before Musashigawa stablemate Musoyama was handed his first defeat of the tournament by sekiwake Tochiazuma, who moved to 1-1.
Chiyotaikai, managed to stop the rot for the ozeki quartet and boosted his own title hopes by slapping down komusubi newcomer Tamanoshima to stay perfect at 2-0.
Sekiwake Dejima's bid to make a swift return to ozeki took another blow as the Musashigawa stable grappler became the latest victim of giant-killing No. 2 maegashira Kotomitsuki (2-0), and remains winless.
Dejima, who fell to third-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi in a shock opening-day defeat on Sunday, needs to win 10 of his remaining 13 bouts to guarantee promotion back to sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki.
In the lower ranks of sumo's elite Makuuchi division, Mongolian No. 8 maegashira Kyokutenho downed winless rank-and-filer Tochinohana.