• Kyodo


Yokozuna Hakuho has been warned over a full-blooded shove that sent a defeated opponent flying from the ring, causing serious injury to a ringside judge.

Sumo elder Isegahama, the director of the Japan Sumo Association’s judges division, said Monday that he issued a verbal warning to the yokozuna over the matter.

The Mongolian, who has won a record 35 career grand tournament titles, appeared to get carried away after a hard-hitting, raging encounter ended with him forcing bloodied sekiwake Yoshikaze from the ring on Sunday at the ongoing Spring Grand Sumo tournament.

The yokozuna applied a final shove at the end that sent Yoshikaze flying into sumo elder Izutsu. The 54-year-old former sekiwake, who was taken from Edion Arena Osaka in an ambulance, suffered a fracture in his left femur that will put the stablemaster out of action for three months.

“He has to understand completely that (such) redundant finishing blows are dangerous. For his own sake, such an act demands a rebuke,” Isegahama said.

The yokozuna expressed remorse for his actions.

“(Inflicting) serious injury is inexcusable,” Hakuho said.

“Even I have weaknesses in the ring that I want to correct.”

The yokozuna also applied excessive force in his fourth-day victory over No. 2 maegashira Okinoumi, and the vice director of the judging division, elder Fujishima, expressed outrage.

“This is unheard of,” Fujishima said. “Whether one is a yokozuna or a jonokuchi (sixth division) wrestler, what is wrong is wrong.”

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