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Thursday, May 23, 2002

Musashimaru extends summer basho lead

Yokozuna Musashimaru ushered out komusubi Tochinonada with the conviction of a grand champion Wednesday as the lone undefeated wrestler opened up a two-win lead with only four days remaining in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai, however, discovered that Musoyama, the grand champion's Musashigawa stable teammate, was of the same solid ilk as he fell to his second loss in a row at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

In the day's key bout, Chiyotaikai struggled to get his notorious hurricane thrusts rolling against Musoyama, but the Musashigawa stable ozeki never gave his rival a chance to get started.

Instead of reaching in for the usual belt technique, Musoyama surprised the Kokonoe stable ozeki with a dose of his own medicine in a relentless flourish of slaps and thrusts before drilling him into the ringside seats to the thunderous applause of the crowd.

Meanwhile, Musashimaru grabbed Tochinonada by the mawashi (sash) and slowly but steadily maneuvered the komusubi around the ring before bellying him over the edge with his massive frame.

Dejima (9-2), another Musashigawa stable wrestler and former ozeki, saw his shot at the championship take a dent when komusubi Wakanosato (6-5) used a bear hug to heave the No. 9 maegashira up in the air before slamming him hard outside the ring's edge.



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