Sumo wrestlers in restaurant clash

Kyodo News

Sumo is in the spotlight once again after Georgian wrestlers Kokkai and Gagamaru allegedly damaged an Indian restaurant during a late-morning fight that erupted after both lost consecutive bouts at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, police said Monday.

The argument involving Kokkai, whose real name is Tsaguria Merab Levan, and Gagamaru, whose real name is Jugheli Teimraz, reportedly took place at a restaurant in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, on Jan. 14, the sixth day of the tournament.

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hanaregoma said Monday that the two wrestlers were reprimanded for staying out late but that he he did not think they had been fighting.

“It’s a problem if two wrestlers who might have to face each other are out drinking so late (in the morning),” said Hanaregoma. “The JSA doesn’t consider what happened to be an argument. Apparently, Kokkai was trying to cheer up Gagamaru, whose friend had passed away,” he said.