H A W A I I _ S U M O T O R I


Star-Bulletin News Services

Saturday, September 25, 1999

Musashimaru falls,
tied with Akinoshima

TOKYO, Sept. 25 (Kyodo) -- Yokozuna Musashimaru failed to clinch his first Emperor's Cup as a grand champion Saturday after a loss to ozeki Chiyotaikai and will head into the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament tied with rank-and-file wrestler Akinoshima.

Musashimaru appeared rushed in his efforts to wrap up the bout and his sixth career Cup and could not weather Chiyotaikai's escape act at the ring's edge at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Chiyotaikai kept one leg high in the air and the other on the straw ridge as he watched the Samoan-born grand champion tumble onto the dohyo surface head-first.

Musashimaru (11-3), promoted to sumo's supreme rank after winning back-to-back championships in March and May, will meet injury-plagued yokozuna Wakanohana in the tournament's final bout Sunday.

Chiyotaikai, meanwhile, retains a slim championship hope with a 10-4 record.

No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima (11-3), wrestling in his 69th basho in the top makuuchi division at age 32, sidestepped to his left at the face-off and dragged down top-ranked maegashira Tochiazuma (9-5) in the middle of the ring for an easy victory.

Akinoshima, a Futagoyama stable wrestler from Hiroshima, faces komusubi Musoyama on Sunday in a bid for the first-ever career tournament victory in his long professional career.

Meanwhile, Yokozuna Wakanohana (7-7) was driven over the raised ring by newly promoted ozeki Dejima (9-5) in a matter of seconds for his fourth straight loss since tearing a thigh muscle in a battle with No. 3 maegashira Toki earlier in the tournament.

A string of lopsided defeats after the injury have rekindled speculation that Wakanohana, who has refused to pull out, could retire after this tournament.

Earlier, No. 5 maegashira Miyabiyama (9-5) won for the first time in six days after an 8-0 start in a bout against top maegashira Tamakasuga (7-7), while trickster and No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan (7-7) danced to an impressive win against veteran sekiwake Kaio (8-6).

Kyokutenho, Kyokushuzan's Mongolian compatriot, made sure of staying in the top flight as the No. 12 maegashira secured a winning record with his eighth win by slapping down sixth-ranked Wakanosato (6-8).

Musashimaru tied
with Akinoshima

TOKYO (AP) -- Hawaiian-born yokozuna (grand champion) Musashimaru took a tumble and allowed lower-ranked Akinoshima to join him in the lead on Saturday, the penultimate day of the Autumn Grand Sumo tournament Saturday.

Musashimaru, one of two remaining yokozunas in the tournament, lost against ozeki (champion) Chiyotaikai and fell to 11-2.

The yokozuna from Oahu is now in a dead heat with the lower-ranked Akinoshima, a No.3-ranked megashira (senior wrestler), who beat fellow maegashira Tochiazuma.

Musashimaru took control at the inital charge against Chiyotaikai by quickly grabbing the pesky and fast-moving Chiyotaikai, then pushing him back to the edge.

But while Chiyotaikai balanced on one leg, the burly yokozuna couldn't change his direction -- and ended up falling forward onto his hands.

Yokozunas Takanohana and Akebono have withdrawn from the tournament with injuries.

Tournament underdog Akinoshima nimbly side-stepped the energetic charge of Tochiazuma, who lost his balance and toppled over backward for his fifth defeat against nine wins.

Yokozuna Wakanohana, who is nursing a leg injury, was pushed down by ozeki Dejima and fell to 7-7. Dejima improved to 9-5.

Mongolia's Kyokushuzan, meanwhile, slapped down Kaio (8-6), and improved to 7-7.

The other top division Mongolian native, Kyokutenho, beat Wakanosato (6-8), and earned his eighth win against six losses.

In the juryo division, just below the senior makuuchi division, No. 10-ranked Hoshitango, or Argentine Imach Marcelo Salomon, beat Tomomohana (6-8) and improved to 8-6.

Sentoryu, or American Henry Armstrong Miller, lost to Oginishiki (8-6), bringing his score to 6-8.

In Makushita, the top junior division, No. 6-ranked Wakaazuma, or Yoshinobu Kuroda from Brazil, beat Kyokubenten, bringing his record to 2-5. The 45th-ranked Hoshiandesu (3-4), or Argentina's Jose Antonio Juarez, lost against Tochitenkyo.

In sandanme, No.7-ranked Mongolian Enkhbat Batmunkha, or Kyokutenzan (4-2,) lost against Asakiumi, while the 37th-ranked Azumaoh, or Yasuto Morita from Brazil, won against Wakabusho, bringing him up 5-2. The 118th-ranked Kotonomori (4-3), Brazilian Mario Fuchiue, lost against Ozawa.

Wrestlers in junior divisions have only seven bouts during the 15-day tournament.

For more sumo information online, try:
Sumo Web
Da Kine Sumo E-zine
Kyodo News Service

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