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Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001

DAY 2

Musashimaru picks up second win

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru produced a hard-earned if unspectacular second win on Monday while ozeki Kaio and ozeki candidate Kotomitsuki both bounced back from opening-day upset losses at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Meanwhile, feisty Mongolian komusubi Asashoryu stayed unbeaten after giving Musoyama rather more than he had bargained for by blasting the ozeki out to a shock defeat two days into the 15-day tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

In the day's final bout, Musashimaru, who has had to settle for a runnerup position in the first four basho of the year, looked far from convincing against Tosanoumi (1-1).

But the Samoan-born grand champion stood firm after a nervous start and managed to pack enough punch to dispatch the No. 3 maegashira over the straw ridge with a series of arm thrusts for win No. 2.

Kaio, who suffered an embarrassing defeat to rank-and-filer Tamanoshima on Sunday, gave his hometown fans a cheer after quickly sending No. 2 maegashira Takanowaka (1-1) back out of the ring to pick up the first of eight wins needed here to retain his current rank of ozeki.

At sekiwake, Kotomitsuki also appeared to have erased Sunday's defeat from his memory and displayed the kind of form that gave him his first Emperor's Cup at the autumn tourney in September by twisting down third-ranked maegashira Tokitsuumi (0-2) for an easy win.

Tochiazuma, who is also on course to move a further rung up sumo's ladder to ozeki, celebrated his 500th career bout in style by bundling No. 3 maegashira Dejima (1-1) out of the dohyo to improve to 2-0.

In the day's other key bout, Asashoryu produced yet another giant-killing feat as the komusubi gave Musoyama (1-1) a good pasting at mid-ring and added the final touches by using a vice-like two-handed grip to bulldoze his shell-shocked opponent to his first defeat.

In the lower echelons of sumo's elite makuuchi division, fifth-ranked Kyokutenho forced out seventh-ranked Tamakasuga (0-2) and No. 9 maegashira Kyokushuzan hauled down 11th-ranked Kitazakura (1-1) to both stay unbeaten and complete a hat trick of wins for Mongolia.



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