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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2001

DAY 10

Musashimaru suffers first loss

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Musashimaru failed to make it a perfect 10 as he fell to his first defeat on Tuesday at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament against veteran Daizen at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

The Samoan-born grand champion had another untimely lapse of concentration, slipping up against the 36-year-old journeyman to fall back into a three-way tie for the lead on Day 10 of the 15-day tourney along with Takanonami and Tochiazuma.

Musashimaru (9-1) has yet to lift an Emperor's Cup this year, having been plagued by a series of upsets against unheralded opponents and yet again failed to deal with a mere rank-and-filer.

No. 6 maegashira Daizen (5-5), who was called back for one false start, was chomping at the bit at the face-off and slammed into the yokozuna the second time around, shoving him off balance before muscling him over the straw bales.

Ozeki hopeful Tochiazuma (9-1) won by injury default after No. 10 maegashira Hayateumi pulled out from the tourney earlier in the day and the sekiwake got a day off and the unexpected bonus of a share of the lead.

Takanonami is fighting down at No. 10 maegashira having slipped down the rankings since his demotion from ozeki last year but continued to show his form of old and had too much cunning for Buyuzan (5-5).

The Futagoyama stable grappler stayed clear of Buyuzan's initial charges and simply waited for the right moment to pull the No. 15 maegashira to the dirt to register his ninth win.

Hayateumi, who began the tourney with eight straight wins, withdrew after injuring his knee and shoulder in suffering his first loss of the meet to Takanonami the previous day and is expected be out of action for three months.

Meanwhile, Mongolian Kyokushuzan (8-2) moved up to within one win of the pace after a victory over Aminishiki (6-4) but survived a scare up against the ropes before escaping to shove out the No. 15 maegashira.

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