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Friday, Nov. 16, 2001

Musashimaru picks up fifth straight

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru settled into his own with a confident win to remain undefeated while sekiwake Tochiazuma fought patiently to notch another victory at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

Musashimaru, who has yet to win a tournament this year, manhandled winless Tokitsuumi in the final bout of the day at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, blasting out the No. 3 maegashira for his fifth-straight win of the tourney.

Meanwhile, Tochiazuma locked horns at center-ring with Tamanoshima for a protracted bout but managed to induce a frontal force-out with some leverage as he remained even with Musashimaru and two rank-and-filers with 5-0 records at the 15-day tourney.

In the day's key bout, Tochiazuma, who is also shooting for ozeki promotion, had to wriggle around the komusubi as they stood head-to-head in center-ring to get a hand onto the front and back of the komusubi's sash and lever him out for the win.

Ozeki Kaio, who needs eight wins to avoid relegation to sekiwake, did a slick side maneuver off the charge to wrap up a lunging Kotonowaka (3-2) and shove out the fourth-rank maegashira for his third win to cheers of the home crowd.

Meanwhile, a raging ozeki Musoyama (4-1) made mincemeat of the winless Takanowaka (0-5), quickly pushing out the tentative No. 2 maegashira for an emphatic win for the Musashigawa stable.

Ozeki hopeful Kotomitsuki, however, fell to his second defeat of the basho when Kaiho (4-1) side-stepped an ill-advised rush off the charge to send the sekiwake sprawling over the straw bales.

Komusubi Asashoryu's predictable flurry of slaps were fooling nobody when top-ranked maegashira Wakanosato (1-4) wrenched one of the flailing hands forward to send the Mongolian flopping to a disappointing second loss.

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