Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Musashimaru lives another day with victory in Kyushu

SUMO TOURNAMENT The Hawaiian wrestler is facing pressure to retire after missing a string of meets because of some recent nagging injuries

AP , FUKUOKA, JAPAN

Grand champion Musashimaru kept his diminishing comeback hopes alive yesterday with an awkward win over Aminishiki on the fourth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Fighting in the final contest at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Musashimaru used a series of arm thrusts to force Aminishiki back after the face-off, but almost lost his footing before finishing off the pint-sized No. 3 maegashira with a final shove.

Musashimaru, who was handed his second straight loss on Tuesday after winning his first bout, improved to 2-2 while Aminishiki dropped to 1-3.

Musashimaru has missed all or parts of the last six tournaments because of an injured left wrist. A third straight loss on Wednesday could have fueled calls for his retirement.

Fellow grand champion Asashoryu, who won the Autumn tournament and is gunning for his fifth title, survived a scare in a bout with Tamanoshima to pick up his third win against one loss.

The Mongolian grand champion was pushed back to the edge after the face-off, but managed to get a grip of the Tamanoshima's belt and shoved the No. 3 maegashira out to his first loss of the 15-day tourney.

In an earlier bout, Kyokushuzan dug into his bag of tricks and used a leg trip to send Tokitsuumi tumbling to the dirt surface.

Kyokushuzan, a No. 5 maegashira, improved to 4-0 while No. 6 maegashira Tokitsuumi dropped to 2-2.

In other major bouts, ozeki Tochiazuma improved to 4-0 when he forced Iwakiyama to the edge with an arm lock and then shoved the winless komusubi over the edge to maintain his share of the lead along with Mongolian Kyokushuzan and rank-and-filer Hokutoriki.

Chiyotaikai suffered his first lost of the tournament at the hands of No. 4 maegashira Miyabiyama, who used a series of arms thrusts to force the ozeki back before knocking his opponent off balance and shoving him out to give both grapplers a 3-1 record.

Ozeki Kaio, who needs a winning record in this tournament to avoid demotion next time out, pulled Kyokutenho to the edge and slapped him down to improve to 3-1.

Sekiwake Kyokutenho, who defeated Musashimaru on Monday, fell to 1-3.

Ozeki Musoyama, who also needs a winning record, wasted little time in bulldozing No. 2 maegashira Toki out of the ring to even his record at 2-2. Toki dropped to 1-3.

Fan-favorite Takamisakari, a komusubi, upended Wakanosato at the edge with an arm throw to improve to 2-2.

It was the third straight loss for sekiwake Wakanosato, who is bidding for promotion to ozeki in this tournament.

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