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Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Asashoryu takes the applause

Yokozuna Musashimaru averted a dangerous leg-sweep for his third straight win Tuesday and sekiwake Asashoryu put on a fine display of athleticism with a superb throwing technique at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Kyokushuzan tried to employ one of his crafty techniques against the Samoa-born grand champion but Musashimaru never allowed the winless No. 2 maegashira a chance to get close enough in the final bout on the third day of action at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

The yokozuna swatted Kyokushuzan to the edge of the ring but was nearly pulled down with a leg pull-out maneuver as he lunged forward for the final blow.

In day's most electric bout, Asashoryu, who is bidding to become the first Mongolian ozeki, charged with a flurry of throat-grabs to the neck of Tochinonada (2-1) as the top-ranked maegashira retaliated with a grapple on the sekiwake's belt while charging forward.

The fiery Mongolian, however, flipped Tochinonada with a beautifully timed and well-executed combined arm-leg throw to the thunderous applause of the crowd as he improved to 3-0.

In the ozeki ranks, Kaio was again on the losing end due to his ailing arm, this time against Tosanoumi.

The Tomozuna stable ozeki completely avoided using his sore left arm and was ushered out with little effort by komusubi Tosanoumi (2-1) for his third straight loss.

Meanwhile, Tochiazuma (3-0) quickly disposed of No. 3 maegashira Dejima (2-1) with a head slap-down technique while Chiyotaikai (3-0) pulverized Takamisakari with his huge, sweeping arms to hand the No. 2 maegashira his third loss in a row.

Sixth-ranked Kotomitsuki (2-1) wrenched the off-balance No. 10 maegashira Wakanoyama (1-2) down to the canvas with a sneaky shoulder pull-down technique to the cheers of his hometown fans.

Kyokutenho, a No. 8 maegashira from Mongolia, had a bit of shoving match in his first encounter with Hokutoriki (0-3), but pounded out the fifth-rank wrestler for his first win of the meet.

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