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Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Asashoryu suffers first loss

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu got flattened by rank-and-filer Kotonowaka to suffer his first loss at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Samoan-born grand champion Musashimaru, however, had no problems muscling out Kyokushuzan to post his second straight win to stay undefeated along with the four ozeki on the second day of action at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

In the day's penultimate bout, the hot-headed Asashoryu got more than he bargained for when Kotonowaka immediately pinned one of his arms in a lock as the pair tussled for advantage.

Asashoryu attempted to throw his opponent with a beltless arm technique but was instead crushed backward into the splits under the No. 2 maegashira's weight to fall to 1-1 at the 15-day Nagoya meet. Kotonowaka (1-1) walked away cringing after apparently straining a muscle in his right shoulder.

Musashimaru, who beat sekiwake Kyokutenho on Sunday for his first win in 235 days, appeared tentative but enveloped Mongolian second-ranked Kyokushuzan with his burly right arm before depositing him over the edge for a comfortable win.

Kaio quickly shoved out third-ranked Takanonami, improving to 24-27 against the former ozeki while sending Takanonami to his second consecutive loss.

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