Kyodo News Service
Monday, May 10, 1999
TOKYO -- Yokozuna hopeful Musashimaru narrowly avoided an upset loss Monday to keep alive his hopes for a second straight championship in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
Akebono toppled again
in summer sumo
Akebono, one of two grand champions in the tourney, however, was saddled with his second straight loss only two days into the 15-day tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Musashimaru, winner of the spring tourney in March, struggled against an upset-minded Tochinonada in the day's featured bout, fighting back from the edge of the ring once and then again from the top of the straw ridge as he appeared poised to step out.
However, Musashimaru escaped to the right while twisting the determined No. 2 maegashira to his left, then gaining the advantage as he turned Tochinonada around, followed up with the frontal force out for the win.
In the day's final bout, Musashimaru's Musashigawa stable stablemate Dejima - fighting at sekiwake - overwhelmed Akebono at the face-off and drove out the grand champion in a surprisingly one-sided bout.
Akebono's back-to-back losses are certain to stir speculation that the 30-year-old yokozuna, who has missed the last three basho with a lower-back injury, may be headed toward retirement.
Meanwhile, yokozuna Wakanohana, the defending champion in the summer tourney, hung in the air a fraction of a second longer as he and Kotonowaka toppled out of the ring to snatch victory from the determined top maegashira.
Kotonowaka appeared to win as both wrestlers unleashed belt throws and fell out of the ring, but video replays showed that his right elbow hit the ground an instant before Wakanohana touched down.
Ozeki Takanonami also notched a second win by dragging top maegashira Tosanoumi to the ring's surface after the former sekiwake attempted to drive in low against the Futagoyama-stable trickster.
Yokozuna Takanohana, the third member of the mighty Futagoyama stable triumvirate, is sitting out the summer tourney with an injured shouldered.
In other bouts, up-and-coming No. 3 maegashira Chiyotenzan escaped like a rag doll from a belt throw by Akinoshima and pushed the sekiwake out of the ring from behind.
Sekiwake Kaio, 2-0, shrugged off the hard charge of No. 2 maegashira Miyabiyama and, locking onto the sash, spun him around and out.
Komusubi Tochiazuma chased down Kyokushuzan, a No. 4 maegashira from Mongolia, and after a series of shoves, toppled his opponent out of the ring to even his mark at 1-1.
Kyokushuzan's Mongolian compatriot Kyokutenho, wrestling at No. 14 maegashira, muscled out top juryo wrestler Wakanoyama for his second straight win.
Results in Scoreboard
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