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Asahi Shimbun update - includes Takanohana info



(from Asahi Shimbun, November 14, 1996)


Musashimaru thrown from unbeaten ranks

By YUKIO KONDO 


FUKUOKA--Caught standing straight up, the 203-kilogram Musashimaru was
thrown down with a
crash Wednesday by Tosanoumi on Day 4 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo
Tournament. 

The no-nonsense win was reminiscent of the days soon after Tosanoumi
joined the makuuchi ranks
and added yet another twist to an already jumbled race for the Emperor's
Cup. For Tosanoumi, it
was also the second win in as many days against an ozeki. Though he
humble said he was just lucky,
he couldn't help smiling at how the match went so close to his plan. 

Musashimaru had won in each of the pair's previous four bouts. Tosanoumi
has lost because he has
been unable to withstand Musashimaru's devastating thrusts. This time,
however, Tosanoumi came in
low in order to keep from being knocked off balance. With his chin
tucked in, he drove upward with
his arms to stop Musashimaru's forward momentum. Getting a grip with
both hands, he kept on the
offensive without letting up, and that was the key to his win. 

Promoted to komusubi after only four tournaments in makuuchi Tosanoumi
this year was elevated to
a position of being considered for ozeki, along with Kaio and Musoyama.
But a knee injury kept his
wins in the spring tournament to only six. Unable to practice
sufficiently, he had losing records for the
next two tournaments. All he could do was watch as his rivals assumed
the spotlight. 

But with his injury now healed, and with his ranking back up to
maegashira No. 1, he is entering this
tournament after 10 days of intense practice against Kaio, who had come
to his stable to work out. 

"It's about time for him to start producing," said Tosanoumi's
stablemaster, Isenoumi. 

The top-ranking wrestlers, meanwhile, are looking pretty bad. With
Musashimaru's loss, all of the
ozeki and yokozuna Akebono had blemished records after just four days.
The spring tournament
saw the same situation by the third day and Takanohana ended up winning
with a 14-1 record. 

With the lead actor gone, it remains to be seen who will prove to be the
next star in Kyushu. 

Two remain perfect 

Leading the 15-day tournament with 4-0 marks are sekiwake Takatoriki and
Kaio and the senior
division's lowest-ranked wrestler, No. 15 maegashira Tochiazuma, The
Associated Press reported. 

Yokozuna Akebono improved to 3-1 by grabbing the belt of No. 1
maegashira Daishoho (1-3) and
bulldozing him out. 

Wakanohana and ozeki Takanonami were both 2-2. Takanonami toppled No. 3
maegashira
Kotonowaka (1-3) with a leg trick, and Wakanohana forced out No. 2
maegashira Mitoizumi (1-3).

Takatoriki, seeking promotion to ozeki, sumo's second-highest rank,
slapped down komusubi
Musoyama (3-1). 

Kaio fought off winless komusubi Asahiyutaka's hand thrusts and drove
him out. 

Tochiazuma, who was promoted to the senior makuuchi division shortly
before this tournament,
grabbed No. 11 maegashira Shikishima's belt and forced him out, leaving
Shikishima at 2-2. 

No. 10 maegashira Higonoumi charged No. 7 maegashira Kyokushuzan with
hand thrusts and sent
him out from behind for his second victory against two defeats.
Kyokushuzan is 3-1. 

No. 9 maegashira Konishiki sent out No. 5 maegashira Tamakasuga with
hand thrusts for his second
victory against two defeats. Tamakasuga is 3-1. 

Takanohana leaves hospital 

Yokozuna Takanohana, hospitalized last Friday night with an acute
bacterial intestinal infection, left
the hospital in Fukuoka Prefecture on Wednesday, Kyodo reported. 

"I feel much better now," said the 24-year-old grand champion, who will
return to Tokyo to
recuperate at home. 

Takanohana is sitting out the current Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament
because of the infection and
is missing a tournament for the first time since his debut in March
1988. 

The Futagoyama-stable yokozuna, the winner of the last four Emperor's
Cups, said he watched the
first three days of the Kyushu championship on television.