• Kyodo

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Veteran ozeki Musoyama announced his retirement on Wednesday after three consecutive losses at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament put him in danger of being demoted from sumo’s second-highest rank.

Musoyama, 32, decided to call it quits in a meeting with stablemaster Musashigawa on Tuesday night, hours after losing to second-ranked maegashira Kokkai in a third-day bout.

The native of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, withdrew midway from the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament with a 2-7 record and needed at least eight wins in the ongoing 15-day tournament to retain his rank.

“I entered the matches with a fighting spirit but was unable to produce results. Those were terrible fights, which I think proved insulting to the fans,” Musoyama said.

“Now I think it’s my duty to teach young wrestlers what I’ve done in my career. Hopefully, I’ll do it well,” he said.

Musoyama will become a sumo elder under the name of Fujishima and coach wrestlers at the Musashigawa stable.

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