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Saturday, Nov. 17, 2001

Musashimaru wins tedious bout

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru survived a tedious bout Friday to sail away with a victory over Tamanoshima and sekiwake Tochiazuma pulverized komusubi Kaiho as both remained unbeaten at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musashimaru, seeking his first tournament victory of the year, got in a stalemate with Tamanoshima at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center before employing an elbow clamp to heave the top-ranked maegashira out for his sixth straight win at the 15-day tourney.

Tamanoshima had the huge Samoan-born wrestler at a standstill as they locked arms for over a minute and a half in the day's final bout, but the yokozuna patiently applied the clamp on his elbows for the force out and his 66th win of the year.

Meanwhile, ozeki hopeful Tochiazuma thwarted off a charge by Kaiho (4-2), burying his head and never looking back as he calmly plowed the komusubi over the edge to stay even with Musashimaru and rank-and-filer Hayateumi at 6-0.

At ozeki, Kaio (4-2), who was touted as a candidate for yokozuna but now needs at least eight wins here to avoid relegation at the New Year tourney, raged like a bull, showing no signs of his ailing back, to blast out Wakanosato (1-5) for a refreshing win.

Fellow ozeki Musoyama (5-1) notched another win for the Musashigawa stable, bumping heads with the winless Tokitsuumi (0-6), lifting the No. 3 maegashira out with a throttle to the throat.

At sekiwake, a listless Kotomitsuki (3-3), another ozeki candidate, became the victim of the seemingly energized No. 3 maegashira Dejima (3-3), who immediately got the autumn champion backpedaling out for a disappointing third loss.

Tenth-ranked Hayateumi (6-0) continued his impressive streak muscling out a timid No. 13 maegashira Higonoumi (3-3) to stay in the ranks of the unbeaten.

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