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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Chiyotaikai suffers first loss

OSAKA -- Ozeki Chiyotaikai was toppled by Tosanoumi for his first loss of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday to suffer an early dent in his chances for possible promotion to yokozuna.

The other ozeki in the yokozuna hunt, Tochiazuma, as well as reigning grand champion Musashimaru, meanwhile, racked up convincing wins at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium to head up a pack of seven wrestlers who are unbeaten three days into the 15-day meet.

In Tuesday's biggest upset, Chiyotaikai roared out to the better start, driving top maegashira Tosanoumi to the edge of the ring with a barrage of jabs and thrusts.

Tosanoumi, who upset Musoyama on Sunday, however, fought back with a shove against Chiyotaikai and then snapped his opponent to the ring's surface for his second ozeki scalp of the tournament.

Tochiazuma, the leading candidate for yokozuna promotion after his New Year triumph, took a hard shot from Kyokutenho at the face-off of their bout, but then had no trouble waltzing the No. 2 maegashira from Mongolia out of the ring for this third win.

Ozeki Kaio followed up Tochiazuma's win by throwing former ozeki Takanonami (1-2) out of the ring with a belt throw from the outside grip to remain among the unbeaten leaders.

And, Musashimaru capped the day's bouts with an easy win over Kotonowaka (1-2), bellying the No. 2 maegashira out to remain undefeated.

In addition to Musashimaru and the two unbeaten ozeki, four rank-and-filers on the lower side of the makuuchi division -- Takamisakari, Shimotori, Takanowaka and Aminishiki -- also sport 3-0 records.

Also Tuesday, ozeki Musoyama threw down winless No. 3 maegashira Tochinonada for a second win after his opening day loss to Tosanoumi.

Sekiwake and ozeki hopeful Kotomitsuki (2-1), who lost to Musoyama on Monday, won by injury default over top maegashira Buyuzan, who withdrew from the tournament after damaging ligaments in his right knee the previous day.



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