July Grand Sumo Tournament Starts with Fans in Arena
Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Fans are back now. The much-awaited July grand sumo tournament started in Tokyo on Sunday, with a limited number of spectators to reduce the risk of infection with the novel coronavirus.
It is the first time since the New Year competition in January that a 15-day bimonthly grand tournament of the professional sport is held in front of fans. The July tournament is being held at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida Ward in the Japanese capital, with up to only 2,500 spectators allowed to view bouts in the sumo arena per day.
The audience size is a quarter of the arena's full capacity, with only one person occupying each "masuseki" box area, normally used by four people, while doors of the arena are left open.
The spring tournament in March took place without spectators due to the epidemic, while the summer tournament in May was canceled. The start of the July tournament was postponed for two weeks.
The venue for the ongoing competition was changed from the central Japan city of Nagoya in order to reduce the risk of infections due partly to many wrestlers and others having to travel.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]