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


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Musashimaru wins
to pass Akebono

From staff and wire reports

TOKYO, Sept. 22 (Kyodo) - Musashimaru muscled out Takanohana and avenged a bitter defeat to the rival yokozuna to claim his 12th Emperor's Cup with a 13-2 record on the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

The Samoan-born grand champion never allowed Takanohana a chance to get near him, using his huge arms to thwart his best efforts as the showdown between joint leaders got under way at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Takanohana (12-3), who beat Musashimaru on a near-crippled right knee after being injured at the summer tourney in 2001, tried to gain leverage with his uncanny right-hand grip but was kept well at bay by an extremely tactical Musashimaru.

Musashimaru got his burly right-arm underneath the armpit of his opponent and wrestled him over the bales for an emphatic and sweet victory he had waited one year to accomplish.

"I was really hurting from last year's loss. People kept telling me that I was weak and I didn't train enough," Musashimaru said after winning his first meet with Takanohana since the holder of 22 Emperor's Cup left the dohyo with a career-threatening knee injury suffered the day before their previous meet.

"I was waiting for Takanohana to return (from his injury layoff) so I could fight him again. It's no big deal if I just win over the lower-ranked wrestlers," he said.

With his 12th victory, Musashimaru moved past former yokozuna Akebono (11 Emperor's Cups) into sixth place on the all-time list.

"I'm so happy to reach 12 victories and I just want to continue winning in the future, but this is my happiest moment," Musashimaru said.

Elsewhere, seventh-ranked maegashira Kotomitsuki (12-3) had to sweat out a lengthy bout with Wakanosato (8-7) but charged the sekiwake over the bales for a strong frontal force-out. Kotomitsuki earned the second Fighting Spirit Prize of his career.

Ozeki Asashoryu had to tussle with ozeki Musoyama (9-6) before hooking him with a clean leg sweep for the win to finish at 10-5.

In another all-ozeki bout, Kaio blasted out rival Chiyotaikai (10-5) in a matter of seconds for a convincing win to end his campaign strong at 12-3

In earlier bouts, Mongolian No. 11 maegashira Kyokushuzan slapped down Buyuzan (5-10) to finish at 9-6. Countryman Kyokutenho (8-7) flipped down Tochinonada (4-11) in a hard-fought bout to post a winning record.

Day 15

(+denotes juryo-division wrestler):

Won Technique Lost

Tochinohana 8-7 yorikiri Akinoshima 7-8

Otsukasa 5-10 tsukiotoshi +Oikari 4-11

Daizen 4-11 oshidashi +Takanotsuru 8-7

+Iwakiyama 10-5 oshidashi Kasuganishiki 5-10

Gojoro 8-7 oshidashi Asanowaka 7-8

Ushiomaru 9-6 koshikudake Aminishiki 7-8

Hokutoriki 9-6 hatakikomi Wakanoyama 8-7

Kyokushuzan 9-6 hatakikomi Buyuzan 5-10

Tokitsuumi 7-8 yorikiri Toki 4-11

Shimotori 5-10 oshitaoshi Tochisakae 2-9-4

Kyokutenho 8-7 tsukiotoshi Tochinonada 4-11

Miyabiyama 7-8 tsukiotoshi Tamakasuga 10-5

Takanonami 7-8 shitatenage Takanowaka 8-7

Kotoryu 5-10 uwatenage Takamisakari 4-11

Tamanoshima 8-7 oshidashi Tosanoumi 6-9

Kotomitsuki 12-3 yorikiri Wakanosato 8-7

Asashoryu 10-5 sotogake Musoyama 9-6

Kaio 12-3 oshidashi Chiyotaikai 10-5

Musashimaru 13-2 yorikiri Takanohana 12-3

Division winners

Makuuchi -- Musashimaru, Musashigawa stable (No. 12), 13-2

Juryo -- Tamarikido, Kataonami stable, 11-4 (winner in playoff)

Makushita -- Shishio, Hakkaku stable, 7-0

Sandamme -- Nadatsukasa, Irumagawa stable, 7-0

Jonidan -- Roho, Taiho stable, 7-0

Jonokuchi -- Tokitenku, Tokitsukaze stable, 7-0

(Note: Wrestlers in sumo's four junior divisions compete in only seven bouts during the tournament.)

Special awards for makuuchi-division wrestlers

Outstanding Performance Prize — None
Technique Prize — None
Fighting Spirit Prize — Kotomitsuki, Sadogatake stable (2)

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

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