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Sunday, September 9, 2001

Musashimaru wins opener

TOKYO, Sept. 9 (Kyodo) - Ozeki Kaio saw his fresh challenge to reach sumo's elite rank of yokozuna quickly turn sour Sunday when he slipped to a shock defeat to komusubi Wakanosato on the opening day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

But lone grand champion Musashimaru, who appears to be Kaio's main obstacle in his push to the top, and ozeki rival Chiyotaikai both kicked off the 15-day tournament with comfortable wins at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Despite coming off an impressive victory at the Nagoya tourney in July, which once more put the Tomozuna stable grappler in line for sumo's ultimate prize, Kaio looked less than convincing in the day's penultimate bout.

Wakanosato, harboring his own hopes of climbing the next rung on the sanyaku ladder after going 9-6 in Nagoya, smothered Kaio's opening charge and broke a mid-ring stalemate by twisting his opponent to the right and out of the ring for the upset win.

"This is a dream start (to the tournament). I can't remember much about the fight, but I've awarded myself full marks for the performance anyway," a grinning Wakanosato said in a post-match interview.

Meanwhile, Musashimaru showed no signs of falling to the kind of upset that has dented the Hawaii-born giant's title challenges since his most recent victory here last year, wrenching new komusubi Tamanoshima to the dirt in a one-sided match.

It was a day of mixed fortunes in the ozeki camp as Chiyotaikai and Musoyama both got off to winning starts while perennial relegation candidate Miyabiyama predictably fluffed his lines in his appointment with renowned giant-killer Kotomitsuki.

Chiyotaikai had little troubled in making mincemeat of No. 1 maegashira Kotonowaka while in contrast, Musoyama mustered just enough firepower to gun down Mongolia's top-ranked maegashira Asashoryu in an explosive battle to record a face-saving win.

Miyabiyama, however, quickly took control of his encounter with No. 2 maegashira Kotomitsuki only to inexplicably allow the former sekiwake to counter a two-handed throat clamp and barge the bumbling ozeki to defeat.

Similarly, sekiwake Dejima's attempt to make an immediate return to ozeki took an early blow when the Musashigawa grappler lost his footing after the charge before being dragged down by third-ranked maegashira Tosanoumi.

Dejima, who was forced to withdraw from the Nagoya tourney with a viral infection, needs 10 wins or more to rejoin stablemates Miyabiyama and Musoyama back in the ozeki ranks.

In the lower echelons of sumo's premier league, Mongolian No. 8 maegashira Kyokutenho got off on the right foot and wasted no time in pulling down seventh-ranked Kotoryu for an easy opening-day win.

But compatriot and former komusubi Kyokushuzan, wrestling as a No. 6 maegashira, appeared to have left his bag of tricks at home and was quickly bundled out to loss No. 1 by fifth-ranked Tochinonada.

Results, day one

TOKYO, Sept. 9 (Kyodo) - Results of makuuchi division bouts Sunday, the first day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan:

Won Technique Lost

Daishi 1-0 yoritaoshi Wakatsutomu 0-1
Hamanishiki 1-0 oshidashi Takatoriki 0-1
Kitazakura 1-0 oshidashi Aminishiki 0-1
Akinoshima 1-0 hikiotoshi Wakanoyama 0-1
Oginishiki 1-0 yorikiri Chiyotenzan 0-1
Otsukasa 1-0 okuridashi Tochinohana 0-1
Higonoumi 1-0 yoritaoshi Daizen 0-1
Kyokutenho 1-0 hatakikomi Kotoryu 0-1
Toki 1-0 tsukiotoshi Hayateumi 0-1
Tochinonada 1-0 oshidashi Kyokushuzan 0-1
Tokitsuumi 1-0 oshidashi Takanonami 0-1
Kaiho 1-0 yorikiri Tamakasuga 0-1
Tosanoumi 1-0 tsukiotoshi Dejima 0-1
Takanowaka 1-0 hikiotoshi Tochiazuma 0-1
Kotomitsuki 1-0 yorikiri Miyabiyama 0-1
Musoyama 1-0 oshidashi Asashoryu 0-1
Chiyotaikai 1-0 oshidashi Kotonowaka 0-1
Wakanosato 1-0 yorikiri Kaio 0-1
Musashimaru 1-0 hikiotoshi Tamanoshima 0-1

Monday's bouts

Daishi 0 - 0 Hamanishiki
Kitazakura 0 - 1 Wakatsutomu
Wakanoyama 1 - 2 Takatoriki
Aminishiki 1 - 0 Akinoshima
Higonoumi 2 - 3 Chiyotenzan
Kyokutenho 3 - 1 Tochinohana
Oginishiki 7 - 1 Daizen
Otsukasa 1 - 3 Kotoryu
Takanonami 2 - 3 Hayateumi
Kaiho 6 - 5 Kyokushuzan
Toki 4 - 1 Tokitsuumi
Tochinonada 4 - 2 Tamakasuga
Wakanosato 1 - 4 Tosanoumi
Kotomitsuki 4 - 0 Dejima
Kaio 1 - 1 Asashoryu
Kotonowaka 2 - 4 Miyabiyama
Musoyama 3 - 13 Tochiazuma
Tamanoshima 0 - 1 Chiyotaikai
Musashimaru 4 - 1 Takanowaka

Musashimaru wins
opening-day bout, Kaio
suffers upset defeat

TOKYO (AP) - Hawaii-born yokozuna (grand champion) Musashimaru won the opening day bout of the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday, but ozeki (champion) Kaio suffered an upset defeat.

Yokozuna Takanohana, is sitting out the tournament due to a knee injury that also sidelined him from the previous competition in July.

Wrestling before 10,000 spectators at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena, Musashimaru, or Fiamalu Penitani, grabbed newly promoted komusubi (junior champion second class) Tamanoshima's belt and pulled him down.

Kaio, seeking the promotion to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna, suffered his upset defeat to komusubi Wakanosato.

Wakanosato held on during Kaio's attempted neck throw and bulldozed him out.

However, Kaio, who won the previous tournament, still may be promoted to yokozuna if he wins the current competition. Winning two consecutive tournaments as ozeki is a key requirements for promotion to the venerated rank.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai bulldozed out No. 1 maegashira (senior wrestler) Kotonowaka and his fellow ozeki Musoyama sent out No. 1 maegashira Asashoryu after fighting off Asashoryu's hand thrusts.

Asashoryu, or Mongolian Dolgorsvren Dagvadrj, was demoted to his present rank from komusubi because of his 7-8 record in the previous tournament.

No. 2 maegashira Kotomitsuki fought off hand thrusts to his throat by ozeki Miyabiyama and sent him out.

No. 2 maegashira Takanowaka pulled down sekiwake (junior champion) Tochiazuma.

No. 3 maegashira Tosanoumi tossed sekiwake Dejima down at the ring's edge.

Dejima was demoted to his present rank from ozeki as he lost a majority of bouts for two consecutive tournaments.

Ozekis have the privilege of keeping their ranking unless they lose a majority of bouts for two consecutive tournaments.

No. 5 maegashira Tochinonada drove out No. 6 maegashira Kyokushuzan, or Mongolian Batbayar Davaa. Kyokushuzan finished at 7-8 and fell to the present rank from No. 5 maegashira.

No. 8 maegashira Kyokutenho clashed hard against No. 7 maegashira Kotoryu and quickly slapped him down.

Kyokutenho, or Mongolian Tsevegnyam Nyamjav, was promoted by three ranks to the present rank for his 8-7 in the previous tournament.

In the 26-member juryo division, just below the senior makuuchi division, No. 2-ranked Sentoryu, or American Henry Armstrong Miller, charged No. 3-ranked Wakakosho with a series of hand thrusts.

But Wakakosho grabbed Sentoryu's belt and threw him down.

Sentoryu was promoted by four ranks to the present rank for his 9-6 record in the previous tournament.

No. 4-ranked Kuniazuma, or Brazilian Vander Ramos, stayed out of the current tournament because of injuries he suffered to his hip on the 13th-day bout with 12-ranked Tomonohana.

Kuniazuma finished at 8-5.

Results of main sumo bouts

TOKYO (AP) - Results of main bouts Sunday, the opening day of the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena:

Winners Losers

Daishi Wakatsutomu
Hamanishiki Takatoriki
Kitazakura Aminishiki
Akinoshima Wakanoyama
Oginishiki Chiyotenzan
Otsukasa Tochinohana
Higonoumi Daizen
Kyokutenho Kotoryu
Toki Hayateumi
Tochinonada Kyokushuzan
Tokitsuumi Takanonami
Kaiho Tamakasuga
Tosanoumi Dejima
Takanowaka Tochiazuma
Kotomitsuki Miyabiyama
Musoyama Asashoryu
Chiyotaikai Kotonowaka
Wakanosato Kaio
Musashimaru Tamanoshima

Juryo Division

Wakakosho Sentoryu

Monday's main bouts:

Daishi Hamanishiki
Kitazakura Wakatsutomu
Wakanoyama Takatoriki
Aminishiki Akinoshima
Higonoumi Chiyotenzan
Kyokutenho Tochinohana
Oginishiki Daizen
Otsukasa Kotoryu
Takanonami Hayateumi
Kaiho Kyokushuzan
Toki Tokitsuumi
Tochinonada Tamakasuga
Wakanosato Tosanoumi
Kotomitsuki Dejima
Kaio Asashoryu
Kotonowaka Miyabiyama
Musoyama Tochiazuma
Tamanoshima Chiyotaikai
Musashimaru Takanowaka

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

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