Sumo Grand Champion Kisenosato Decides to Retire


Tokyo, Jan. 16 (Jiji Press)--Embattled yokozuna sumo grand champion Kisenosato has decided to leave the professional sumo world, his stablemaster, Tagonoura, said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old wrestler from Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, made the decision after staying in the highest sumo rank of yokozuna only for 12 grand tournaments, including the current tournament. Six such tournaments are held every year and each tournament lasts 15 days.

Among all yokozuna wrestlers who advanced to the rank after Japan's previous Showa era started in 1926, Kisenosato is third from the bottom in terms of the number of bouts won during the period as yokozuna. As yokozuna, he won only 36 of the 66 bouts he had in the 12 tournaments.

With the retirement of Kisenosato, the professional sumo world will return to the absence of Japanese-born yokozuna after two years. The two other yokozuna wrestlers--Hakuho and Kakuryu--are both from Mongolia.

In the ongoing tournament that started at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo on Sunday, Kisenosato suffered three straight losses through Tuesday with no win.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press