• Kyodo News


Former yokozuna Asashoryu, who retired in February over allegations of assault, made an appearance at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on Thursday to pay courtesy calls ahead of his retirement ceremony on Oct. 3.

Asashoryu, whose real name is Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, made the rounds donning a crested Hakama for about 30 minutes on the fifth day of the autumn meet, greeting Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hanaregoma and other top sumo officials, including sumo elders Kokonoe (former yokozuna Chiyonofuji) and Takanohana.

Asashoryu, who said he still trains to remain fit, is scheduled to perform the “dohyo-iri” ritual at his ceremony. “I haven’t lost that much weight,” he said, smiling.

Asked about Hakuho’s extraordinary winning streak, which he extended to 52 bouts on Thursday, Asashoryu said “There is tremendous pressure on him but if you look at his solid body, I don’t think there will be anyone to stop him.”

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